‘Traps’ capture cancer cells

US The mechanism of action of the ‘trap’ as a filter, 3D printing, can separate cancer cells from millions of blood cells.

The research team from the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (SECE) of Georgia Institute of Technology applies microfluidics to create a “bait trap”. Researcher Chia-Heng Chu uses 3D printing technology that contains microcirculation channels placed in antigen solution to filter white blood cells in the blood.

The microcirculation channels link together to form a zig-zag about 50 cm long. All white blood cells will make contact with the channel walls and will be trapped and discarded. Smaller red blood cells continue to pass through the filter to feed the body.

The team tested the device by adding cancer cells to the blood from healthy people. As a result, “traps” can collect about 90% of tumor cells. Further testing with 10 ml of blood samples from prostate cancer patients showed that the cancer cells were completely removed.

Previously, scientists used microfluidics technology to test “catch” cancer cells thanks to the ability to identify external signs of malignant cells. However, because cancer is constantly changing over time, this technology does not always distinguish the diseased cells correctly.

Even if cancer cells are “trapped”, removing them and separating them from the antigen without damaging the surrounding healthy cells is a major challenge.

According to Professor Fatih Sarioglu at SECE School, the devices that used microcirculation channel technology were previously only one class with average channel heights of 50-100 micrometer. 3D printing technology can create multiple channels in 3D space to maximize the filtering ability of the device.

The technology has only been tested on blood samples from prostate, breast and ovarian cancer patients. Scientists believe the device could be applied to any type of cancer because its mechanism targets blood cells, not cancer cells. They hope this is a clinical support tool for doctors, used in hospitals, clinics and medical facilities in the near future.
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