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Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4856-4875; doi:10.3390/s140304856

Biosensors for the Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells

1,* , 1
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 28 January 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 10 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Sensors Technology in Spain 2013)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [314 KB, 21 June 2014; original version 21 June 2014]


Metastasis is the cause of most cancer deaths. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cells released from the primary tumour into the bloodstream that are considered the main promoters of metastasis. Therefore, these cells are targets for understanding tumour biology and improving clinical management of the disease. Several techniques have emerged in recent years to isolate, detect, and characterise CTCs. As CTCs are a rare event, their study requires multidisciplinary considerations of both biological and physical properties. In addition, as isolation of viable cells may give further insights into metastatic development, cell recovery must be done with minimal cell damage. The ideal system for CTCs analysis must include maximum efficiency of detection in real time. In this sense, new approaches used to enrich CTCs from clinical samples have provided an important improvement in cell recovery. However, this progress should be accompanied by more efficient strategies of cell quantification. A range of biosensor platforms are being introduced into the technology for CTCs quantification with promising results. This review provides an update on recent progress in CTCs identification using different approaches based on sensor signaling.
Keywords: circulating tumour cells (CTCs); isolation; enrichment; detection; sensors circulating tumour cells (CTCs); isolation; enrichment; detection; sensors
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Costa, C.; Abal, M.; López-López, R.; Muinelo-Romay, L. Biosensors for the Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells. Sensors 2014, 14, 4856-4875.

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