The circulating tumor cell (CTC) test has recently become popular for evaluating prognosis and treatment efficacy in cancer patients. The accuracy of the test is strongly dependent on the precision of the cancer cell separation. In this study, we developed a multistage microfluidic device to separate cancer cells from a red blood cell (RBC) suspension using inertial migration forces. The device was able to effectively remove RBCs up to the 1% hematocrit (Hct) condition with a throughput of 565 μL min-1. The collection efficiency of cancer cells from a RBC suspension was about 85%, and the enrichment of cancer cells was about 120-fold. Further improvements can be easily achieved by parallelizing the device. These results illustrate that the separation of cancer cells from RBCs is possible using only inertial migration forces, thus paving the way for the development of a novel microfluidic device for future CTC tests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering