Development of a microfluidic system for enrichment and single-cell-analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs)

Development of a microfluidic system for enrichment and single-cell-analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs)

The joint project will develop a system to isolate and individually characterize circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Using a microfluidic system, the isolation of CTCs from blood will be largely automated and standardized allowing robust and accurate counting of the isolated cells as well as further characterization on a molecular and single-cell level. This will be realized by the interdisciplinary collaboration of affiliates with long-standing expertise in the fields of cancer biomarkers, clinical CTC-analysis and microfluidic-based technology products. The projected system addresses current challenges in biotechnology and healthcare. The prognostic relevance of the number of CTCs that can be detected in blood of cancer patients is well documented. Although solutions currently available on the market allow CTCs to be counted using specific marker antigens, these closed systems do not allow further molecular analysis of the isolated cells. The projected system will be able to detect, sort and isolate CTCs and, additionally, allow a subsequent molecular characterization of the recovered cells based on predictive/theranostic markers. This may facilitate optimal patient therapy selection and monitoring during therapy in addition to prognostic statements based on CTC-counts.

Keywords 

  • CTCs
  • molecular diagnostics
  • automated analytics