Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) play a critical role in understanding cancer; however they are not yet well understood. Currently only one device, a benchtop solution manufactured by Verdex, is approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration to detect CTCs. This research project focuses on developing a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip solution for detecting and working with circulating tumor cells. Previous research in single microwell encapsulation of erythrocytes will be leveraged to create a device to capture CTCs in individual wells and screen them through mechanical forces induced by electrophoresis and chemical analysis of the cytosol. This dual approach will yield greater statistics for determination of characteristics and chemical pathways of CTCs.
Project end date: 01/28/14