A folic acid modified polystyrene nanosphere surface for circulating tumor cell capture
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been considered as a significant biomarker for cancer metastasis and relapse. Effective detection of CTCs will play an important role in early cancer diagnosis, prognosis, progress monitoring, and personalized therapy. In this work, we developed a polystyrene (PS) nanosphere substrate to capture CTCs from whole blood samples. Bovine serum albumin (BSA), as an antifouling molecule, and folic acid, as a recognizing agent, were modified onto the surface of PS nanospheres via self-polymerization of dopamine. 8 HeLa cells could be captured when 10 cells were spiked into 1 mL of the whole blood sample. Then, the captured target cells were further proliferated through an in situ culture strategy on the polystyrene (PS) nanosphere substrate, and nearly 80 HeLa cells were obtained from 1 captured cell after 7 days of in situ culture, revealing the potential application for CTC isolation and proliferation.