Biomedical Microdevices

, 19:66 | Cite as

Combination of antibody-coated, physical-based microfluidic chip with wave-shaped arrays for isolating circulating tumor cells

  • Hongmei ChenEmail author
  • Baoshan Cao
  • Hongda Chen
  • Yu-Sheng Lin
  • Jingjing Zhang


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are found in the peripheral blood of patients with metastatic cancers, which have critical significance in cancer prognosis and diagnostics. Enumeration is significantly valuable since number of CTCs is strongly correlated to severity of disease. This article is proposed and demonstrated an antibody-coated, size-based microfluidic chip with wave-shaped arrays could efficiently capture CTCs combining two separation methods of both size- and deformability-based and affinity-based segregation. Utilizing immunocapture of capture chemistry of Epithelial Cell Adhension Molecule (EpCAM), tumor cells could be captured by narrow gaps or have a friction with microposts edges to realize both immune-affinity and size capture. This wave-shaped layout of microfluidic chip with varying gaps between adjacent circular microposts can generate perpendicular velocities to the fluidic direction. This oriented fluidic direction will carry cells to next smaller neighboring gap and then be captured gradually. The experiment results indicate capture efficiency is ~90% and viability is ~95% after extracted and cultured 3 days. Furthermore, this chip has been validated for whole blood with cancer cell lines and mimic patient blood. This study demonstrates feasibility using our microfluidic chip for CTCs research, monitoring cancer progress and evaluating therapeutic treatment.


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) Epithelial cell adhension molecule (EpCAM) Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) 



This research work was supported by the Major State Basic Research Development Program of China (973 Program) (Grant No. 2011CB933102), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Key Program, Grant No. 61335010), Key Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. KJZD-EW-TZ-L03-6) and Postdoctoral Research Funding (Grant No.2014 M550794). We deeply appreciate Prof. Yu-Sheng Lin from Sun Yat-Sen University helped with editing and revising the manuscript. Jingjing zhang from Xi’ an Technological University helped with simulation. Prof. Fan from Florida University, Prof. Chen from École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and Prof. Yang from Chinese Academy of Sciences offered deep discussion. Zhaoxin Geng, Graduate student Hongsheng Gao and Xiaoqing Lv from Chinese Academy of Sciences helped with design and modification, respectively. Graduate student Zhili Wang from Chinese Academy of Sciences helped to culture cells. Barbara Costello offered help for revising the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hongmei Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Baoshan Cao
    • 2
  • Hongda Chen
    • 1
  • Yu-Sheng Lin
    • 3
  • Jingjing Zhang
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of SemiconductorsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of chemotherapy and radiation sicknessPeking University Third HospitalBeijingChina
  3. 3.Division of Nanobionic Research, Suzhou Institute of Nano-Tech and Nano-BionicsChinese Academy of SciencesSuzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Mechanical EngineeringXi’ an Technological UniversityXi’ an ShaanxiChina

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