Article: Hung C, Liu H, Bander NH, Kirby BJ; (2013) Enrichment of Prostate Cancer Cells from Blood Cells with a Hybrid Dielectrophoresis and Immunocapture Microfluidic System. Biomedical Microdevices, 15 (6):941-948
Abstract: The isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patient blood is a technical challenge that is often addressed by microfluidic approaches. Two of the most prominent techniques for rare cancer cell separation, immunocapture and dielectrophoresis (DEP), are currently limited by a performance tradeoff between high efficiency and high purity. The development of a platform capable of these two performance criteria can potentially be facilitated by incorporating both DEP and immunocapture. We present a hybrid DEP-immunocapture system to characterize how DEP controls the shear-dependent capture of a prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP, and the nonspecific adhesion of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Characterization of cell adhesion with and without DEP effects was performed in a Hele-Shaw flow cell that was functionalized with the prostate-specific monoclonal antibody, J591. In this model system designed to make nonspecific PBMC adhesion readily apparent, we demonstrate LNCaP enrichment from PBMCs by precisely tuning the applied AC electric field frequency to enhance immunocapture of LNCaPs and reduce nonspecific adhesion of PBMCs with positive and negative DEP, respectively. Our work shows that DEP and immunocapture techniques can work synergistically to improve cancer cell capture performance, and it informs the design of future hybrid DEP-immunocapture systems with improved CTC capture performance to facilitate research on cancer metastasis and drug therapies.