Rare Cell Separation

Project Description

Separation and isolation of rare cell populations from a heterogeneous suspension is essential for many applications, ranging from disease diagnostics, therapy, drug treatment analysis to conducting fundamental studies. For example, circulating tumor cells are rare events in peripheral blood but the ability to detect and isolate them can yield important information on the specific mutations of these cancer cells pertaining to each individual patient as well as facilitate fundamental research on cancer metastasis. Similarly, malaria diagnosis and treatment relies on the separation of the few parasite infected red blood cells from billions of uninfected blood cells. Here, our cell separation techniques take advantage of the disparities in the intrinsic mechanical and physical properties such as cell size, adhesion and deformability of the different cell populations to achieve separations. Implementing our mechanobio-inspired approach on a variety of microfluidic platforms, we explore the detection and isolation of circulating cancer cells as well as malarial infected red blood cells.

Selected Publications

1. Label-free extraction of extracellular vesicles using centrifugal microfluidics

Yeo, J C, et al., Biomicrofluidics, 12, 024103, 2018.Abstract

2. Liquid biopsy and therapeutic response: Circulating tumor cell cultures for evaluation of anticancer treatment

Khoo, B L, et al., Science Advances, 2, 7, e1600274, 2016.Article

3. Ultra-fast, label-free isolation of circulating tumor cells from blood using spiral microfluidics

Warkiani, M E, et al., Nature Protocols, 11, 1, 134-148, 2016.Abstract

4. Malaria detection using inertial microfluidics

Majid, E W, et al., Lab on a Chip, 15, 1101-1109, 2015.Abstract

5. Slanted spiral microfluidics for the ultra-fast, label-free isolation of circulating tumor cells

Majid, E W, et al., Lab on a Chip, 14, 1, 128-137, 2014.Abstract

6. Isolation and retrieval of circulating tumor cells using centrifugal forces

Hou, H W, et al., Scientific Reports, 3, 1259, 2013.Article

7. Pinched flow coupled shear modulated inertial microfluidics with application towards high throughput circulating tumor cell separation

Bhagat, A A S, et al., Lab on a Chip, 11, 11, 1870-1878, 2011.Abstract