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Second-generation device more effective in capturing circulating tumor cells
Date:10/12/2010

A redesigned version of the CTC-Chip a microchip-based device for capturing rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) appears to be more effective and should be easier to manufacture than the original. Called the HB-(herringbone) Chip, the new device also may provide more comprehensive and easily accessible data from captured tumor cells. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers including members of the team that developed the CTC-Chip report the second-generation device in a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences paper that has been released online.

"The originally CTC-Chip worked wonderfully in a small-scale laboratory setting, but limitations arose when we attempted to increase production for larger clinical studies. The new device performs as well or better than the previous technology with several additional benefits," says Shannon Stott, PhD, of the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine, co-lead author of the PNAS paper. "It also was able to capture something that had never been seen using either the CTC-chip or the most prevalent previous technology small clusters of CTCs, the significance of which we need to study."

CTCs are living solid tumor cells found at extremely low levels in the bloodstream. Until the 2007 development of the CTC-chip by researchers from the MGH Cancer Center and the Center for Engineering in Medicine, it was not possible to get information from CTCs that would be useful for clinical decision making.

In the original device, patient blood samples are passed over a silicon chip covered with microscopic posts coated with an antibody that binds to most tumor cells. Not only did this design proved challenging to manufacture reliably and cost-effectively, but the smooth flow of blood around the microposts also limited the number of CTCs that came into contact with the antibody-covered surfaces. In their search to increase the capture of CTCs, the researchers found that pas
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Contact: Katie Marquedant
kmarquedant@partners.org
617-726-0337
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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