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

te 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."

METHOD HAS BROAD APPLICATIONS TO OTHER CELL TYPES

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.


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

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