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Liquid Filtration System Captures Circulating Tumor Cells

By Labmedica International staff writers
Posted on 21 Feb 2017
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Image: The Fluid Assisted Separation Technology (FAST) Disc can accurately identify circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the bloodstream (Photo courtesy of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology).
Image: The Fluid Assisted Separation Technology (FAST) Disc can accurately identify circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the bloodstream (Photo courtesy of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology).
A stand-alone lab-on-a-disc system captures from the blood 95% of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), which can be analyzed for early detection of cancer metastasis and for monitoring response to various cancer treatments.

Investigators at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology used the Fluid Assisted Separation Technology (FAST) system to detect CTCs in the blood of 142 patients with various cancers and 50 healthy control subjects.

The FAST system is based on a series of antifouling membranes with liquid-filled pores. These pores enable clog-free, highly sensitive, selective, rapid, and label-free isolation of viable CTCs from whole blood without prior sample treatment. Numerical simulation and experiments showed that this method provided uniform, clog-free, ultrafast cell enrichment with pressure drops much less than in conventional size-based filtration.

Results obtained with the FAST system showed that CTCs isolated from the blood of patients with lung cancer, contained the same genetic information as found in histologic examination. This indicated that the FAST technology could be used for molecular diagnosis or customized medical treatment.

"This technology can be directly used by hospitals because it uses small equipment and is very simple to use," said senior author Dr. Yoon-Kyoung Cho, professor of biomedical engineering at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology. "This will enable early diagnosis of metastatic cancer as well as patient-tailored cancer treatment."

The FAST system was described in detail in the January 2017 issue of the journal Analytical Chemistry.


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