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Issue 9, 2012
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Determination of single cell surface protein expression using a tagless microfluidic method

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Abstract

We describe a method to detect the expression of a surface protein in single cells without prior labeling or manipulation using a microfluidic device. When the protein is expressed on a cell surface, it undergoes transient bond formation with an immobilized ligand as the cell is pumped through a microfluidic channel, resulting in a specific decrease in the cell's velocity. We were able to detect the expression of interleukin 13 receptor alpha 2 (IL13Rα2) differentially expressed on LM2 cells, a subline of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells with a unique lung metastatic capability. The detection of cells with high expression of the protein was near 100% sensitive and 100% specific. We also provided proof of principle of multiplexing by tracking the same cell over two, differentially-coated patches. The method is non-destructive and cells can be collected for reanalysis. The system can identify positive cells in a cell mixture. This method will have a potential impact in analyzing cancer cells when only a few are available, such as the case with needle aspirates and when labeling and manipulation result in cell loss.

Graphical abstract: Determination of single cell surface protein expression using a tagless microfluidic method

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Nov 2011, accepted on 27 Feb 2012 and first published on 28 Feb 2012


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2LC21180G
Citation: Lab Chip, 2012,12, 1646-1655
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    Determination of single cell surface protein expression using a tagless microfluidic method

    R. Kumar, S. H. Vellanki, R. Smith and R. Wieder, Lab Chip, 2012, 12, 1646
    DOI: 10.1039/C2LC21180G

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