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ABSTRACT: In this report, we demonstrate a semi-integrated electrical biosensor for the detection of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood. The sample was first enriched through a combination of immunomagnetic isolation and size filtration. The integration of both methods provided a high enrichment performance with a recovery rate above 70%, even for very low numbers of cancer cells present in the original sample (10 spiked MCF7 cells in 0.5 mL of blood). In the same system, the sample was then transferred to a microchip for further magnetic concentration, followed by immunochemical trapping and electronic detection by impedance spectroscopy. Three levels of spiked CTC number (30±2, 124±29, 273±23) in 10 μL of filtered blood sample were distinguished by monitoring the impedance change of the microelectrode array (MEA). The integration of different functions in a single system provided a methodology to process milliliter-sized blood samples at the macroscale and interface with the microdimensions of a highly sensitive electronic detector. The results showed that the whole system was able to detect different levels of spiked cancer cells without the use of time- and cost-intensive fluorescence labeling and image analysis. This has the potential to provide clinicians with a standalone system to monitor changes in CTC numbers throughout therapy conveniently and frequently for efficient cancer treatments.
Biosensors & Bioelectronics 01/2011; 26(5):2520-6. · 6.45 Impact Factor