At the Oct. 2-6 microTAS 2011 conference, the premier international event for reporting research in microfluidics, nanotechnology and detection technologies for life science and chemistry, University of Cincinnati researchers will present a simple, low-cost, method for separating and safely collecting concentrated volumes of fragile prostate cancer cells.
The research results resolve the critical technical challenge of isolating and collecting fragile cells, specifically rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that are present in the blood in very low concentrations as low as one cell in 100,000.
Normally, the isolation and collection of such cells is complicated and relies on the availability of biological markers on the cells; whereas, the method developed at UC using inertial microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technology is simple, relying only on cell size for separation. UC has already obtained a provisional patent for the new inertial microfluidics device and is in the process of obtaining a full patent.
At the Fifteenth International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences (microTAS) to be held Oct. 2-6, in Seattle, Wash., the research will be presented in papers titled "Extraction and Enrichment of Rare Cells in a Simple Inertial Microfluidic Device" and "Sorting Human Prostate Epithelial (HPET) Cells in an Inertial Microfluidic Device."
The first paper is by UC researchers Jian Zhou, engineering doctoral student, Premkumar Vummidi Giridhar, environmental health postdoctoral fellow; Susan Kasper, associate professor of environmental health; and Ian Papautsky, associate professor of engineering and director of both the BioMicroSystems Lab and the Micro/Nano Fabrication Engineering Research Center at UC. The second paper is presented by Nivedita Nivedita, doctoral student in engineering, and by Giridhar, Kasper and Papautsky.
Kasper has been investigating the cancer stem cell properties of HPE
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