Size-selective microcavity array for rapid and efficient detection of circulating tumor cells

Masahito Hosokawa, Taishi Hayata, Yorikane Fukuda, Atsushi Arakaki, Tomoko Yoshino, Tsuyoshi Tanaka, Tadashi Matsunaga

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Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are tumor cells circulating in the peripheral blood of patients with metastatic cancer. Detection of CTCs has clinical significance in cancer therapy because it would enable earlier diagnosis of metastasis. In this research, a microfluidic device equipped with a size-selective microcavity array for highly efficient and rapid detection of tumor cells from whole blood was developed. The microcavity array can specifically separate tumor cells from whole blood on the basis of differences in the size and deformability between tumor and hematologic cells. Furthermore, the cells recovered on the microcavity array were continuously processed for image-based immunophenotypic analysis using a fluorescence microscope. Our device successfully detected approximately 97% of lung carcinoma NCI-H358 cells in 1 mL whole blood spiked with 10-100 NCI-H358 cells. In addition, breast, gastric, and colon tumor cells lines that include EpCAM-negative tumor cells, which cannot be isolated by conventional immunomagnetic separation, were successfully recovered on the microcavity array with high efficiency (more than 80%). On an average, approximately 98% of recovered cells were viable. Our microfluidic device has high potential as a tool for the rapid detection of CTCs and can be used to study CTCs in detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6629-6635
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

Cite this

Hosokawa, M., Hayata, T., Fukuda, Y., Arakaki, A., Yoshino, T., Tanaka, T., & Matsunaga, T. (2010). Size-selective microcavity array for rapid and efficient detection of circulating tumor cells. Analytical Chemistry, 82(15), 6629-6635.