Mechanical Low-Pass Filtering of Cells for Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells in Whole Blood

Taiki Suzuki, Noritada Kaji, Hirotoshi Yasaki, Takao Yasui, Yoshinobu Baba

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from liquid biopsies using microfluidic devices is attracting a considerable amount of attention as a new, less-invasive cancer diagnostic and prognostic method. One of the drawbacks of the existing antibody-based detection systems is the false negatives for epithelial cell adhesion molecule detection of CTCs. Here we report a mechanical low-pass filtering technique based on a microfluidic constriction and electrical current sensing system for the novel CTC detection in whole blood without any specific antigen-antibody interaction or biochemical modification of the cell surface. The mechanical response of model cells of CTCs, such as HeLa, A549, and MDA-MB-231 cells, clearly demonstrated different behaviors from that of Jurkat cells, a human T-lymphocyte cell line, when they passed through the 6-μm wide constriction channel. A 6-μm wide constriction channel was determined as the optimum size to identify CTCs in whole blood with an accuracy greater than 95% in tens of milliseconds. The mechanical filtering of cells at a single cell level was achieved from whole blood without any pretreatment (e.g., dilution of lysing) and prelabeling (e.g., fluorophores or antibodies).

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2483-2491
    Number of pages9
    JournalAnalytical Chemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 4 2020

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Analytical Chemistry


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