A Versatile Microarray Platform for Capturing Rare Cells

  • Author:

    F. Brinkmann, M. Hirtz, A. Haller, T. M. Gorges, M. J. Vellekoop, S. Riethdorf, V. Müller, K. Pantel, H. Fuchs

  • Source:

    Sci. Rep. 5 (2015) 15342

  • Date: 2015
  • Analyses of rare events occurring at extremely low frequencies in body fluids are still challenging. We established a versatile microarray-based platform able to capture single target cells from large background populations. As use case we chose the challenging application of detecting circulating tumor cells (CTCs) – about one cell in a billion normal blood cells. After incubation with an antibody cocktail, targeted cells are extracted on a microarray in a microfluidic chip. The accessibility of our platform allows for subsequent recovery of targets for further analysis. The microarray facilitates exclusion of false positive capture events by co-localization allowing for detection without fluorescent labelling. Analyzing blood samples from cancer patients with our platform reached and partly outreached gold standard performance, demonstrating feasibility for clinical application. Clinical researchers free choice of antibody cocktail without need for altered chip manufacturing or incubation protocol, allows virtual arbitrary targeting of capture species and therefore wide spread applications in biomedical sciences.