Separating and classifying circulating cancer cells from whole blood using a single cell trap microfluidic platform coupled with label free fluorescence life time imaging.
Researchers at the University of California have developed a robust sensitive lab-on-a-chip platform to detect CTCs through a combined microfluidics and label-free approach via fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). FLIM is a non-invasive methodology that can differentiate innate biological fluorescent absorbers based on the time it takes for the absorber’s fluorescence brightness to fall. A FLIM-Phasor plot that contains all fluorescent lifetime(s) of a sample can provide a straight forward visualization of the different biochemical compounds and their chemical state in the sample. Utilizing such a FLIM-Phasor plot has shown clear differentiation between different cancer cells providing greater diagnostic information regarding the isolated CTCs.
Invention has completed the conceptualization phase, simulation and preliminary experimental stage. Currently, the invention is undergoing design optimization to improve cell entrapment.