Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
AB Sciex
RANDOX LABORATORIES
FOCUS DIAGNOSTICS, INC.

Microfluidic Device Could Improve Biomarker Analyses

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 08 Jul 2014
Image: Visualization from a numerical simulation of a cell flowing past the obstacle through the microfluidic device (Image courtesy of KTH – The Royal Institute of Technology).
Image: Visualization from a numerical simulation of a cell flowing past the obstacle through the microfluidic device (Image courtesy of KTH – The Royal Institute of Technology).
A new microfluidic device could offer a more reliable alternative for detecting biomarkers in patients facing such illnesses as cancer or malaria.

The physical attributes of cells are important biomarkers in medicine, whether extracting circulating tumor cells from the blood of a cancer patient, or to measure the elasticity of red blood cells due to malaria infection.

Scientists at The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH; Stockholm, Sweden) proposed a microfluidic device that can sort elastic capsules by their deformability. The device consists of a duct embedded with a semi-cylindrical obstacle, and a diffuser which further enhances the sorting capability. The KTH team used extensive computational simulations to model a microfluidic device that would sort cells according to their elasticity. The work draws on numerical techniques and computational capabilities developed in the last decade to handle the complexity of microscale flows.

Most cell sorting techniques rely on the difference between chemical properties of the cells. The problem is chemical properties do not give pathologists the full picture. Two cells can have very similar chemical properties, but different physical properties. Size, shape and elasticity, or deformability, are important attributes that can be also enable cell sorting, given the right kind of device.

The scientists demonstrated that the device can operate reasonably well under changes in the initial position of the capsule. The efficiency of the device remains essentially unaltered under small changes of the obstacle shape from semicircular to semi-elliptic cross-section. Confinement along the direction perpendicular to the plane of the device increases its efficiency. This work is the first numerical study of cell sorting by a realistic microfluidic device.

Dhrubaditya Mitra, PhD, an assistant professor in theoretical physics and a coauthor of the study offers an example of why elasticity matters. “If you are infected with malaria, the physical nature of your red blood cells changes. They become harder and red blood cells also become harder as they get older too. These harder red blood cells are filtered by the spleen which acts like a sieve. The softer red blood cells can squeeze through the gaps but the harder ones cannot.” The study was published on June 20, 2014, in the journal Soft Matter.

Related Links:

The Royal Institute of Technology



77 ELEKTRONIKA
PURITAN MEDICAL
DiagCor Bioscience
comments powered by Disqus
Life Technologies

Channels

Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The Cobas 6000 Multipurpose Clinical Laboratory analyzer (Photo courtesy of Roche Diagnostics).

Low Density Lipoprotein Apolipoprotein-B Assay Validated

The relationship between apolipoprotein-B (Apo-B) concentration and the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) is more robust than the relationship between low density lipoprotein cholesterol... Read more

Genetic Tests

view channel
Histopathology of colonic adenocarcinoma; the glands are enlarged and filled with necrotic debris (Photo courtesy of the University of Utah).

Promising Blood Biomarkers Isolated for Colorectal Cancer

The search for blood-borne biomarkers that could be used to screen for colorectal cancer (CRC) has uncovered two promising candidates that may one day lead to the development of a simple blood test.... Read more

Microbiology

view channel

Novel Sequence Analysis Services Improve Pathogen Identification

A set of new-generation sequencing (NGS) services provides unique tools for more effective identification of known and unknown microorganisms, including bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoan parasite pathogens. Aperiomics (Ashburn, VA, USA) has now introduced its breakthrough Absolute-NGS Pathogen Detection Platform... Read more

Industry News

view channel

Market for qPCR Exceeds USD 3 Billion

The market for real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was valued at about USD 3.2 billion for 2013 according to Kalorama Information (New York, NY, USA) an increase from USD 2.8 billion in 2011. The healthcare market researcher said that the testing system is considered the workhorse of research providing... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.