Article: Huang C, Smith JP, Saha TN, Rhim AD, Kirby BJ; (2014) “Characterization of Microfluidic Shear-dependent Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule Immunocapture and Enrichment of Pancreatic Cancer Cells from Blood Cells with Dielectrophoresis”, Biomicrofluidics, 8 (4)
Abstract: Current microfluidic techniques for isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patient blood are limited by low capture purity, and dielectrophoresis (DEP) has the potential to complement existing immunocapture techniques to improve capture performance. We present a hybrid DEP and immunocapture Hele-Shaw flow cell to characterize DEP’s effects on immunocapture of pancreatic cancer cells (Capan-1, PANC-1, and BxPC-3) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with an anti-EpCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule) antibody. By carefully specifying the applied electric field frequency, we demonstrate that pancreatic cancer cells are attracted to immunocapture surfaces by positive DEP whereas PBMCs are repelled by negative DEP. Using an exponential capture model to interpret our capture data, we show that immunocapture performance is dependent on the applied DEP force sign and magnitude, cell surface EpCAM expression level, and shear stress experienced by cells flowing in the capture device. Our work suggests that DEP can not only repel contaminating blood cells but also enhance capture of cancer cell populations that are less likely to be captured by traditional immunocapture methods. This combination of DEP and immunocapture techniques to potentially increase CTC capture purity can facilitate subsequent biological analyses of captured CTCs and research on cancer metastasis and drug therapies. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.