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Engineers use blood's hydrodynamics to manipulate stem, cancer cells
Date:1/23/2008

e they start with far more blood material, but he believes his microscale device can be scaled up to significantly larger capacity.

King is even more enthusiastic about his work in reprogramming cells that pass through his device. As the cell rolls across the adhesive surface, it can be forced to contact other proteins on the surface. King says these proteins can be designed to steer a stem cells development, forcing it to become a specific type of blood, bone, or muscle cell.

King hopes someday an implantable device could continuously reprogram errant neutrophils, but he is already hard at work on a device that holds the same promise for cancerous cells.

Cancer cells use the same rolling mechanism to travel around the body and lodge in interstitial tissue, so King has already focused on isolating the selectins that cancer cells respond to. His lab is working to create a microscale tube that might attract cancer cells and use permanent receptor-mediated triggering proteins to reprogram them to self-destruct. With his microscale tube device, King has already verified that he can control the rolling adhesion of various types of cancer cells, including leukemias, prostate, retinoblastoma, and colorectal cancer cells.

One of our ultimate goals is to develop an implantable device that will selectively remove metastatic cells from the blood, says King. Those cells can predate detectable tumors by years, so we might catch them before they become dangerous.


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Contact: Jonathan Sherwood
jonathan.sherwood@rochester.edu
585-273-4726
University of Rochester
Source:Eurekalert

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