Navigation Links
New UC research promises better collection of prostate cancer cells

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 HPET cells and began collaborating with Papautsky to characterize prostate cancer stem cells and determine the manner in which these cells survive in the circulation and metastasize to their target organs such as bone. "Prostate cancer cells are a challenge to collect because they appear quite fragile and are present in very small numbers in the blood. If we damage them in the collection process, they are not viable for experimentation and the development of more effective strategies to combat this disease," Kasper adds.


Inertial microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices whether based on a straight or a spiral channel take advantage of hydrodynamic (liquid in motion) forces acting on cells or particles within laminar flow (fluid flows in parallel layers). These forces cause cells to equilibrate in streams near channel walls. The equilibrium positions of focused cells are strongly dependent on cell size, as well as flow properties and channel geometry. In spiral microchannels, these inertial forces can be influenced by centrifugal forces, adding additional control over the position of the focused streams of cells.

UC's work with inertial microfluidics both spiral and straight channel is unusual because, up until now, it has proven difficult to separate cells without the introduction of external electric or magnetic forces or using immunoselection.


In spiral-channel lab-on-chips, a sample is introduced at the center of the spiral channel. Before the cells reach the end of the spiral, the cells focus into individual steams and are separated. Papautsky previously developed these chips for separating blood and other cell types at high throughput.

However, while successful, spiral chips are not able to separate out cells present in blood in extremely low concentrations, as is the case with prostate cells. This led him to explore inertial chips with straight channel geometries.

In a straight-channel inertial chip, a sample is introduced into a channel (with the diameter of a human hair) by means of a syringe. Before the cells reach the "crossroads" or "expansion" in the channel, lift and shear forces balance and focus cells into distinct groups near the sidewalls. This balance is disrupted at the "expansion" or "crossroads" and the larger cells, prostate cancer cells in this case, experience lateral velocity in other words, move sideways into the expansions where they are trapped for later use in experimentation.

This straight-channel method can be used to effectively isolate and collect cells and particles with a concentration as low as one cell per milliliter of blood.

According to UC's Papautsky, "The flow rate and channel geometry are critical to the method. We need to get the flow rate right so that the cells will separate out. We want to control the lift and shear forces that stem from the flow rate enough to cull out and collect the cancer cells but to avoid damaging them."


While UC's experiments with inertial microfluidics focused on separating and concentrating prostate cancer cells, the approach is broadly applicable to other cell types and sizes. Working closely with Kasper, the Papautsky's group has already tested a number of other cell lines in these inertial microfluidic devices, including DU-145 cells (derived from brain metastasis) and LNCaP cells (derived from left supraclavicular lymph node). The simple planar structure of the devices and the passive mechanism of separation make them an easy-to-use tool for cell biologists, and affords integration with existing lab-on-a-chip systems.


Contact: M.B. Reilly
University of Cincinnati

Related medicine news :

1. Scripps research scientist wins $3.6 million NIH Method to Extend Research in Time award to study alcoholism in Native Americans
2. New research effort into causes of chronic fatigue syndrome
3. Researchers identify enzyme that regulates degradation of damaged proteins
4. UTHealth researchers train promotoras to combine mobile technology, cancer prevention messages
5. Researchers uncover gene associated with blood cancers
6. Wayne State researcher developing treatments for Parkinsons with aid of $2.15 million NIH grant
7. Boston researchers share in $10 million grant to study HIV and alcohol
8. Rhode Island Hospital researchers find possible cardiovascular risk with NSAID use
9. US Department of Defense awards University of South Florida $1.59 million for musculoskeletal research
10. Lung cancer research team awarded $1.43 million to study cancer in Eastern Kentucky
11. Decoding vaccination: Mayo researchers reveal genetic underpinnings of response to measles vaccine
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New UC research promises better collection of prostate cancer cells
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... Q-Suite, announces the incorporation of Asterisk 11 LTS (Long Term Support) into its ... 11 LTS brings Q-Suite 5.10 up-to-date with a version of Asterisk that will ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also think Holiday sales and start ... and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to receive the best pricing on ... find the best massage chair deals, they can see all of the coupons in ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Somu Sivaramakrishnan announced today that ... Somu now offers travelers, value and care based Travel Services, including exclusive pricing ... well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such as, shore excursions, discounted fares, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... NE (PRWEB) , ... November 26, 2015 , ... Jobs ... searched by healthcare professionals and offered by healthcare staffing agency Aureus Medical Group ... during the month of October 2015 among those searching for healthcare jobs through the ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... WorldCare International, Inc., the first company to ... Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted by the International Foundation of ... 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, Oahu, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), ... the March of Dimes cheered today,s signature into ... Act of 2015 (S.799), which takes much-needed ... exposed to drugs, such as opioids, and to ... three organizations have worked together leading advocacy efforts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, ... against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability ... hip implant device, awarded $11 million in favor ... trial and three days of deliberations, the jury ... defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused ... treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the closing ... American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing 20 ... up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants were ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: