CTCs are produced when tumor cells break off and enter the circulatory system. This makes them important targets for diagnosis and monitoring. However they are only present in extremely small quantities in the blood, meaning plenty of technical difficulties arise when trying to accurately characterise and assess them in a blood sample.
This Focus highlights:
- Considerations in design of CTC isolation, separation and detection systems
- Disadvantages of macroscale systems
- Magnetic-based microfluidic systems
- Affinity chromatography-based microfluidic systems
- Size and deformability-based microdevices
- Dielectrophoretic-based microdevices
Tony Jun Huang et al. based at The Pennsylvania State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard Medical School, USA, finish by discussing the possible combination of the above systems and the future of such technology in terms of clinical relevance for different cancers and technological development.
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Probing circulating tumor cells in microfluidics
Peng Li, Zackary S. Stratton, Ming Dao, Jerome Ritz and Tony Jun Huang
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