Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Liquid biopsy could improve cancer diagnosis and treatment

Abstract:
A microfluidic chip developed at the University of Michigan is among the best at capturing elusive circulating tumor cells from blood—and it can support the cells' growth for further analysis.

Liquid biopsy could improve cancer diagnosis and treatment

Ann Arbor, MI | Posted on September 30th, 2013

The device, believed to be the first to pair these functions, uses the advanced electronics material graphene oxide. In clinics, such a device could one day help doctors diagnose cancers, give more accurate prognoses and test treatment options on cultured cells without subjecting patients to traditional biopsies.

"If we can get these technologies to work, it will advance new cancer drugs and revolutionize the treatment of cancer patients," said Dr. Max Wicha, director of the U-M Cancer Center and co-author of a paper on the new device, published online this week in Nature Nanotechnology.

"Circulating tumor cells will play a significant role in the early diagnosis of cancer and to help us understand if treatments are working in our cancer patients by serving as a 'liquid' biopsy to assess treatment responses in real time," said co-author Dr. Diane Simeone, the Lazar J. Greenfield Professor of Surgery at the U-M Medical School and director of the Translational Oncology Program.

"Studies of circulating tumor cells will also help us understand the basic biologic mechanisms by which cancer cells metastasize or spread to distant organs—the major cause of death in cancer patients."

Yet these cells aren't living up to their promise in medicine because they are so difficult to separate from a blood sample, the researchers say. In the blood of early-stage cancer patients, they account for less than one in every billion cells, so catching them is tougher than finding the proverbial needle in a haystack.

"I can burn the haystack or use a huge magnet," said Sunitha Nagrath, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, who led the research. "When it comes to circulating tumor cells, they almost look like—feel like—any other blood cell."

On their microfluidic chip, Nagrath's team grew dense forests of molecular chains, each equipped with an antibody to grab onto cancer cells.

Even after the cells are caught, it's still hard to run a robust analysis on just a handful of them, the researchers say. That's why this demonstration of highly sensitive tumor cell capture, combined with the ability to grow the cells in the same device, is so promising.

Hyeun Joong Yoon, a postdoctoral researcher in the Nagrath lab with a background in electrical engineering, was instrumental in making the microfluidic chip. He started with a silicon base and added a grid of nearly 60,000 flat gold shapes, like four-petaled flowers, each no wider than a strand of hair.

The gold flowers naturally attracted a relatively new material called graphene oxide. These sheets of carbon and oxygen, just a few atoms thick, layered themselves over the gold. This layered formation allowed the team to grow the tumor-cell-catching molecular chains so densely.

"It's almost like each graphene has many nano-arms to capture cells," Nagrath said.

To test the device, the team ran one-milliliter samples of blood through the chip's thin chamber. Even when they had added just three-to-five cancer cells to the 5-10 billion blood cells, the chip was able to capture all of the cells in the sample half the time, with an average of 73 percent over 10 trials.

"That's the highest anybody has shown in the literature for spiking such a low number of cells," Nagrath said.

The team counted the captured cancer cells by tagging them with fluorescent molecules and viewing them through a microscope. These tags made the cancer cells easy to distinguish from accidentally caught blood cells. They also grew breast cancer cells over six days, using an electron microscope to see how they spread across the gold flowers.

"When you have individual cells, the amount of material in each cell is often so small that it's hard to develop molecular assays," Wicha said. "This device allows the cells to be grown into larger quantities so you can do a genetic analysis more easily."

The chip could capture pancreatic, breast and lung cancer cells from patient samples. Nagrath was surprised that the device was able to catch about four tumor cells per milliliter of blood from the lung cancer patients, even though they had the early-stage form of the disease.

Working in a team that comprises both engineers and medical professionals at U-M, Nagrath is optimistic that the new technique could reach clinics in three years.

The paper is titled "Sensitive capture of circulating tumor cells by functionalized graphene oxide nanosheets." The university is pursuing patent protection for the intellectual property and is seeking commercialization partners to help bring the technology to market.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Kate McAlpine

734-763-4386

Copyright © University of Michigan

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Sunitha Nagrath:

Translational Oncology Program:

Related News Press

News and information

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Graphene/ Graphite

Nature Materials: Smallest lattice structure worldwide: 3-D lattice with glassy carbon struts and braces of less than 200 nm in diameter has higher specific strength than most solids February 3rd, 2016

Nanosheet growth technique could revolutionize nanomaterial production February 1st, 2016

Graphene shown to safely interact with neurons in the brain January 31st, 2016

Putting silicon 'sawdust' in a graphene cage boosts battery performance: Approach could remove major obstacles to increasing the capacity of lithium-ion batteries January 30th, 2016

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Scientists have shown how to make a low-cost yet high precision glass nanoengraving: In a joint study, scientists have developed a mechanism of laser deposition of patterns on glass with a resolution of 1000 times lower than the width of a human hair January 21st, 2016

Nanoworld 'snow blowers' carve straight channels in semiconductor surfaces: NIST, IBM researchers report important addition to toolkit of 'self-assembly' methods eyed for making useful devices December 28th, 2015

New device uses carbon nanotubes to snag molecules: Nanotube “forest” in a microfluidic channel may help detect rare proteins and viruses December 21st, 2015

A cheap, disposable device for diagnosing disease December 2nd, 2015

Chip Technology

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Scientists guide gold nanoparticles to form 'diamond' superlattices: DNA scaffolds cage and coax nanoparticles into position to form crystalline arrangements that mimic the atomic structure of diamond February 4th, 2016

Polar vortices observed in ferroelectric: New state of matter holds promise for ultracompact data storage and processing February 4th, 2016

Electrons and liquid helium advance understanding of zero-resistance: Study of electrons on liquid helium systems sheds light on zero-resistance phenomenon in semiconductors February 2nd, 2016

Nanomedicine

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Nanoparticles Make Fertility Possible during Consumption of Anticancer Drugs February 4th, 2016

Discoveries

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Joint Efforts by Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Produce Antibacterial Coatings for Isolated Areas February 4th, 2016

Announcements

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system February 5th, 2016

Hepatitis virus-like particles as potential cancer treatment February 5th, 2016

Organic crystals allow creating flexible electronic devices: The researchers from the Faculty of Physics of the Moscow State University have grown organic crystals that allow creating flexible electronic devices February 5th, 2016

Researchers discover new phase of boron nitride and a new way to create pure c-BN February 5th, 2016

Patents/IP/Tech Transfer/Licensing

Joint Efforts by Iranian, Malaysian Scientists Produce Antibacterial Coatings for Isolated Areas February 4th, 2016

Silicon-based metamaterials could bring photonic circuits February 1st, 2016

Therapeutic Solutions International Licenses Dexosome Clinical Stage Cancer Immunotherapy Product From Gustave Roussy European Cancer Centre: FDA Cleared Immuno-Oncology Technology to Resume Clinical Development for Solid Tumor Patients January 27th, 2016

Light-activated nanoparticles prove effective against antibiotic-resistant 'superbugs' January 19th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic