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High-Throughput Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells Using Cascaded Inertial Focusing Microfluidic Channel

Abdulla, Aynur, Liu, Wenjia, Gholamipour-Shirazi, Azarmidokht, Sun, Jiahui, Ding, Xianting
Analytical chemistry 2018 v.90 no.7 pp. 4397-4405
blood flow, breast neoplasms, erythrocytes, humans, leukocytes, lung neoplasms, metastasis, neoplasm cells, patients, physical properties
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are rare cells that detach from a primary or metastasis tumor and flow into the bloodstream. Intact and viable tumor cells are needed for genetic characterization of CTCs, new drug development, and other research. Although separation of CTCs using spiral channel with two outlets has been reported, few literature demonstrated simultaneous isolation of different types of CTCs from human blood using cascaded inertial focusing microfluidic channel. Herein, we introduce a cascaded microfluidic device consisting of two spiral channels and one zigzag channel designed with different fluid fields, including lift force, Dean drag force, and centrifugal force. Both red blood cells (RBCs)-lysed human blood spiked with CTCs and 1:50 diluted human whole blood spiked with CTCs were tested on the presented chip. This chip successfully separated RBCs, white blood cells (WBCs), and two different types of tumor cells (human lung cancer cells (A549) and human breast cancer cells (MCF-7)) simultaneously based on their physical properties. A total of 80.75% of A549 and 73.75% of MCF-7 were faithfully separated from human whole blood. Furthermore, CTCs gathered from outlets could propagate and remained intact. The cell viability of A549 and MCF-7 were 95% and 98%, respectively. The entire separating process for CTCs from blood cells could be finished within 20 min. The cascaded microfluidic device introduced in this study serves as a novel platform for simultaneous isolation of multiple types of CTCs from patient blood.