A 3D graphene oxide microchip and a Au-enwrapped silica nanocomposite-based supersandwich cytosensor toward capture and analysis of circulating tumor cells
Determination of the presence and number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood can provide clinically important data for prognosis and therapeutic response patterns. In this study, a versatile supersandwich cytosensor was successfully developed for the highly sensitive and selective analysis of CTCs using Au-enwrapped silica nanocomposites (Si/AuNPs) and three-dimensional (3D) microchips. First, 3D microchips were fabricated by a photolithography method. Then, the prepared substrate was applied to bind graphene oxide, streptavidin and biotinylated epithelial-cell adhesion-molecule antibody, resulting in high stability, bioactivity, and capability for CTCs capture. Furthermore, horseradish peroxidase and anti-CA153 were co-linked to the Si/AuNPs for signal amplification. The performance of the cytosensor was evaluated with MCF7 breast cancer cells. Under optimal conditions, the proposed supersandwich cytosensor showed high sensitivity with a wide range of 101 to 107 cells per mL and a detection limit of 10 cells per mL. More importantly, it could effectively distinguish CTCs from normal cells, which indicated the promising applications of our method for the clinical diagnosis and therapeutic monitoring of cancers.