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Issue 13, 2018
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Microfluidic technologies for circulating tumor cell isolation

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Abstract

Metastasis is the main cause of tumor-related death, and the dispersal of tumor cells through the circulatory system is a critical step in the metastatic process. Early detection and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is therefore important for early diagnosis, prognosis, and effective treatment of cancer, enabling favorable clinical outcomes in cancer patients. Accurate and reliable methods for isolating and detecting CTCs are necessary to obtain this clinical information. Over the past two decades, microfluidic technologies have demonstrated great potential for isolating and detecting CTCs from blood. The present paper reviews current advanced microfluidic technologies for isolating CTCs based on various biological and physical principles, and discusses their fundamental advantages and drawbacks for subsequent cellular and molecular assays. Owing to significant genetic heterogeneity among CTCs, microfluidic technologies for isolating individual CTCs have recently been developed. We discuss these single-cell isolation methods, as well as approaches to overcoming the limitations of current microfluidic CTC isolation technologies. Finally, we provide an overview of future innovative microfluidic platforms.

Graphical abstract: Microfluidic technologies for circulating tumor cell isolation

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2017, accepted on 15 May 2018 and first published on 15 May 2018


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01979C
Citation: Analyst, 2018,143, 2936-2970
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    Microfluidic technologies for circulating tumor cell isolation

    H. Cho, J. Kim, H. Song, K. Y. Sohn, M. Jeon and K. Han, Analyst, 2018, 143, 2936
    DOI: 10.1039/C7AN01979C

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