We report the label-free enumeration of human colorectal-carcinoma cells from blood lymphocytes by using interdigitated ring-array microelectrodes; this enumeration was based on the dielectrophoretic selection of cells. Because of the novel design of the device, a continuous flow of cells is uniformly distributed into parallel streams through 300 rings (~40μm in diameter each) that are integrated into the electrode digits. Using this array, 82% of cancer cells were recovered and 99% of blood lymphocytes were removed. Most of the cancer cells recovered were viable (94%) and could be cultivated for >8 days, during which period they retained their normal cell morphology and proliferation rates. The recovery rate correlated closely with cancer-cell loadings in spiked samples and this relationship was linear over a range of at least 2 orders of magnitude. Importantly, because of the 3D structure of the rings, these results were obtained at a high cell-loading concentration (107cells/mL). The rings could be further optimized for use in accurate label-free identification and measurement of circulating tumor cells in cancer research and disease management.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering