Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 1710–1720 | Cite as

Inkjet-Print Micromagnet Array on Glass Slides for Immunomagnetic Enrichment of Circulating Tumor Cells

  • Peng Chen
  • Yu-Yen Huang
  • Gauri Bhave
  • Kazunori Hoshino
  • Xiaojing ZhangEmail author


We report an inkjet-printed microscale magnetic structure that can be integrated on regular glass slides for the immunomagnetic screening of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs). CTCs detach from the primary tumor site, circulate with the bloodstream, and initiate the cancer metastasis process. Therefore, a liquid biopsy in the form of capturing and analyzing CTCs may provide key information for cancer prognosis and diagnosis. Inkjet printing technology provides a non-contact, layer-by-layer and mask-less approach to deposit defined magnetic patterns on an arbitrary substrate. Such thin film patterns, when placed in an external magnetic field, significantly enhance the attractive force in the near-field close to the CTCs to facilitate the separation. We demonstrated the efficacy of the inkjet-print micromagnet array integrated immunomagnetic assay in separating COLO205 (human colorectal cancer cell line) from whole blood samples. The micromagnets increased the capture efficiency by 26% compared with using plain glass slide as the substrate.


Inkjet printing Micromagnets Circulating tumor cells Microfluidic Immunomagnetic cell separation 



We thank our collaborator Professor Konstantin V. Sokolov at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Zhigang Li at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth for the supports in validating the presented results. We thank Ms. Nancy Lane and Drs. Michael Huebschman, Jonathan W. Uhr, and Eugene P. Frenkel at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for their invaluable suggestions on the experiment design. We appreciate the help from Professor Tim Yeh and Dr. Judy Obliosca at the University of Texas at Austin with the spectrofluorometer measurement. We are grateful for the financial support from the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Diagnosis Program under Grant 1R01CA139070.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peng Chen
    • 1
  • Yu-Yen Huang
    • 3
  • Gauri Bhave
    • 1
  • Kazunori Hoshino
    • 2
  • Xiaojing Zhang
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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