SHAFAQNA TURKEY. A research team led by the University of Technology Sydney has developed a new device to detect and analyze cancer cells in blood samples. This device helps doctors to control the treatment process without performing invasive (damaging tissue formations) biopsy operations.
A study published in issue 223 of the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics presented a highly efficient microfluidic device based on static droplets for 38,400 chambers.
The device is capable of isolating and classifying the number of metabolically active circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood with single cell resolution.
The researchers found that the operation of their newly developed device is simple and reliable, which could eliminate the need for specialized equipment and experience required to analyze individual CTC cells and facilitate in situ metabolic screening of cancer cells.
“Our device is designed to track individual cells for elevated lactate using pH-sensitive fluorescent dyes that detect acidification around cells,” Majid Warkiani, professor at the University of Technology Sydney and co-author of the paper, said on Monday.
“A single tumor cell can be among the billions of blood cells in a milliliter of blood, making it very difficult to find that cell. “The new detection technology has 38,400 chambers that can isolate and classify metabolically active tumor cells.”
Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the country, with more than 150,000 Australians diagnosed each year, according to the statement. Especially people with suspected cancer in organs such as the liver, colon, or kidney often require surgery for a definitive diagnosis.
Noting that biopsy can cause discomfort, higher cost, and an increased risk of complications due to surgery in patients, Varkiani rated the detection of tumor cells in blood samples as “much less invasive than tissue biopsy.”
“This allows doctors to repeat tests and track the patient’s response to treatment,” Varkiani said.
The University of Technology Sydney research team, which has applied for a provisional patent for a static droplet microfluidic device, plans to commercialize the device.
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