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New UC research promises better collection of prostate cancer cells
Date:9/28/2011

T 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.

GENERAL BACKGROUND ON INERTIAL MICROFLUIDICS: SPIRAL AND STRAIGHT CHANNELS

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.

HOW INERTIAL MICROFLUIDIC CHIPS WORK

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 prosta
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
reillymb@ucmail.uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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