Electrical fingerprinting, 3D profiling and detection of tumor cells with solid-state micropores†
Solid-state micropores can provide direct information of ex vivo or in vitro cell populations. Micropores are used to detect and discriminate cancer cells based on the translocation behavior through micropores. The approach provides rapid detection of cell types based on their size and mechano-physical properties like elasticity, viscosity and stiffness. Use of a single micropore device enables detection of tumor cells from whole blood efficiently, at 70% CTC detection efficiency. The CTCs show characteristic electrical signals which easily distinguish these from other cell types. The approach provides a gentle and inexpensive instrument that can be used for specific blood analysis in a lab-on-a-chip setting. The device does not require any preprocessing of the blood sample, particles/beads attachment, surface functionalization or fluorescent tags and provides quantitative and objective detection of cancer cells.