Biopsies are typically the way prostate cancer is identified, but prostate cancers also release circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that are telltale signs of the presence of the disease. Because they’re so rare and difficult to separate from whole blood, CTCs remain rarely used for establishing diagnoses.
Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Scientists have now developed a cheap and easy way to capture CTCs using silica nanowires grown on frosted glass slides and antibodies that make the connection to the cancer cells.
The silica nanowires were grown directly on the glass slides, following which a special adhesion molecule antibody (anti-EpCAM) was attached to the nanowires.
When a stream of blood is run over the surface of the newly functional slide, the protruding nanowires captured the CTC floating by.
From the study abstract in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces:
The biochip shows the specificity and high capture efficiency of 85.4 ± 8.3% for prostate cancer cell line (PC-3). The microsized frosted slides and silica nanowires allow enhanced efficiency in capture EpCAM positive cells by synergistic topographic interactions. And the capture efficiency of biochip increased with the increase of silica nanowires length on frosted slide. The biochip shows that micro/nanocomposite structures improve the capture efficiency of PC-3 more than 70% toward plain slide. Furthermore, the nanobiochip has been successfully applied to identify CTCs from whole blood specimens of prostate cancer patients.
Study in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces: Frosted Slides Decorated with Silica Nanowires for Detecting Circulating Tumor Cells from Prostate Cancer Patients…