Improving the NanoVelcro device
Tseng's team now reports that they have improved the NanoVelcro chip by replacing its original non-transparent silicon nanowire substrate inside with a new type of transparent polymer nanofiber-deposited substrate, allowing the device's nanowires to better "grab" cancer cells as blood passes by them.
Tseng and his colleagues were able to pick single CTCs immobilized on the new transparent substrate by using a miniaturized laser beam knife, a technique called laser micro-dissection, or LMD.
The researchers' paper on their improvement to the chip was published online Feb. 22 in the peer-reviewed journal Angewandte Chemie and is featured on the cover of the journal's March 2013 print issue.
"This paper summarizes a major milestone in the continuous development of NanoVelcro assays pioneered by our research group," Tseng said. "We now can not only capture cancer cells from blood with high efficiency but also hand-pick single CTCs for in-depth characterization to provide crucial information that helps doctors make better decisions."
Testing the improvements on melanoma
Using the new assay on patients' blood containing circulating melanoma cells (CMCs), Tseng's team was able to isolate and preserve single CMCs. Melanoma is a deadly type of skin cancer that is prone to spreading quickly throughout the body. The ability to capture and preserve single CMCs allows doctors to analyze melanoma cells' DNA structure, determine the genetic characteristics of the patient's cancer and confirm that the circulating cells remain genetically similar to the tumor they came from.
The preservation of single captured CMCs in this proof-of-concept study also allowed researchers to conduct an analysis called single-cell genotyping to find within the cell a specifi
|Contact: Shaun Mason|
University of California - Los Angeles