Probing circulating tumor cells in microfluidics
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are important targets for study as we strive to better understand, diagnose, and treat cancers. However, CTCs are found in blood at extremely low concentrations; this makes isolation, enrichment, and characterization of CTCs technically challenging. Recently, the development of CTC separation devices has grown rapidly in both academia and industry. Part of this development effort centered on microfluidic platforms, exploiting the advantages of microfluidics to improve CTC separation performance and device integration. In this Focus article, we highlight some of the recent work in microfluidic CTC separation and detection systems and discuss our appraisal of what the field should do next.