Cell-imprinted biomimetic interface for intelligent recognition and efficient capture of CTCs†
The efficient recognition and isolation of rare cancer cells from blood has great significance for early cancer diagnosis and monitoring prognosis. In this paper, we propose a cell-imprinted biomimetic interface for highly efficient capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) through the use of target cells as an imprint template. The cell-morphology topologies and residual biomolecular receptors on the cell-imprinted interface recognize template cells by mimicking the specific immunoaffinity of the antibody–antigen (known as plastic antibody). Furthermore, we introduced a natural antibody (anti-EpCAM) to accelerate the CTC–material interaction. Due to the synergistic contribution of natural and plastic antibodies, the imprinted surface exhibited high performances in CTC detection on an artificial blood sample, with a capture efficiency higher than 55%. In addition to the experiment, we conducted a systematic analysis of the biochemical recognition (real antibody anti-EpCAM and plastic receptor) and topographic interaction to gain insight into the cell–biointerface interaction. The results of this study provide new prospects for designing cell–material interaction interfaces for future cell-based biological research and clinical applications.