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Open AccessArticle

Development of a Microfluidic-Based Optical Sensing Device for Label-Free Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Through Their Lactic Acid Metabolism

1
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
2
Graduate Institute of Medical Mechatronics, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
4
Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Linkuo, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
5
Graduate Institute of Biochemical and Biomedical Engineering, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
6
Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan 33302, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Kwang W. Oh
Sensors 2015, 15(3), 6789-6806; https://doi.org/10.3390/s150306789
Received: 30 January 2015 / Revised: 2 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 March 2015 / Published: 19 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue On-Chip Sensors)
This study reports a microfluidic-based optical sensing device for label-free detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), a rare cell species in blood circulation. Based on the metabolic features of cancer cells, live CTCs can be quantified indirectly through their lactic acid production. Compared with the conventional schemes for CTC detection, this label-free approach could prevent the biological bias due to the heterogeneity of the surface antigens on cancer cells. In this study, a microfluidic device was proposed to generate uniform water-in-oil cell-encapsulating micro-droplets, followed by the fluorescence-based optical detection of lactic acid produced within the micro-droplets. To test its feasibility to quantify cancer cells, experiments were carried out. Results showed that the detection signals were proportional to the number of cancer cells within the micro-droplets, whereas such signals were insensitive to the existence and number of leukocytes within. To further demonstrate its feasibility for cancer cell detection, the cancer cells with known cell number in a cell suspension was detected based on the method. Results revealed that there was no significant difference between the detected number and the real number of cancer cells. As a whole, the proposed method opens up a new route to detect live CTCs in a label-free manner. View Full-Text
Keywords: microfluidic technology; optical sensing; circulating tumor cells (CTCs); cancer cells; lactic acid microfluidic technology; optical sensing; circulating tumor cells (CTCs); cancer cells; lactic acid
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chiu, T.-K.; Lei, K.-F.; Hsieh, C.-H.; Hsiao, H.-B.; Wang, H.-M.; Wu, M.-H. Development of a Microfluidic-Based Optical Sensing Device for Label-Free Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Through Their Lactic Acid Metabolism. Sensors 2015, 15, 6789-6806.

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