Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), US, have developed a device based on Velcro-like nanoscale technology to identify and capture circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in the blood.
CTCs play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, and capturing them can facilitate early detection and diagnosis of cancer.
The 2.5-by-5-cm nanopillar-covered silicon chip features an overlaid microfluidic channel that creates a fluid flow path to increase mixing.
In a study, researchers used the microfluidic chip to analyse blood samples of prostate cancer patients.
The study results showed that the device was capable of highly efficient enrichment of rare CTCs captured in the blood samples.
According to researchers, the new technology is faster, cheaper and captures a greater number of CTCs, when compared to existing methods.