MICROFLUIDICS

Sorting cells by subpopulations

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Science  28 Nov 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6213, pp. 1075
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6213.1075-f

The loss of cells from a tumor into the bloodstream creates circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that may allow a cancer to metastasize. Within this population of CTCs, a heterogeneous range of cells may exist. Mohamadi et al. have built a microfluidic device that can collect CTCs and differentiate them into distinct groups. Separation is based on the quantity of the epithelial marker EpCAM found on the surface, which may be related to the metastatic potential of the CTC. Magnetic nanoparticles that target EpCAM may cling to the cell surface, allowing the particles to be separated in controlled flow zones based on their ability to resist to the fluid flow due to magnetic attraction.

Angew. Chem. 10.1002/ange.201409376 (2014).

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