Biosensors & bioelectronics

Parallel recognition of cancer cells using an addressable array of solid-state micropores.

PMID 25038540


Early stage detection and precise quantification of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood of cancer patients are important for early diagnosis. Early diagnosis improves the effectiveness of the therapy and results in better prognosis. Several techniques have been used for CTC detection but are limited by their need for dye tagging, low throughput and lack of statistical reliability at single cell level. Solid-state micropores can characterize each cell in a sample providing interesting information about cellular populations. We report a multi-channel device which utilized solid-state micropores array assembly for simultaneous measurement of cell translocation. This increased the throughput of measurement and as the cells passed the micropores, tumor cells showed distinctive current blockade pulses, when compared to leukocytes. The ionic current across each micropore channel was continuously monitored and recorded. The measurement system not only increased throughput but also provided on-chip cross-relation. The whole blood was lysed to get rid of red blood cells, so the blood dilution was not needed. The approach facilitated faster processing of blood samples with tumor cell detection efficiency of about 70%. The design provided a simple and inexpensive method for rapid and reliable detection of tumor cells without any cell staining or surface functionalization. The device can also be used for high throughput electrophysiological analysis of other cell types.