Biophysics

High-throughput cell stretcher

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
485,
Page:
151
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/485151c
Published online

A chip on which cells flow through tiny channels can be used to measure the size and deformability of individual cells at a rate of 2,000 per second — several orders of magnitude faster than existing methods. The chip could be used to detect cancer cells, which are more deformable than healthy cells.

Dino Di Carlo and his team at the University of California, Los Angeles, developed the microfluidic device, which suspends cells single-file in a liquid, stretches them, and then uses automated image analysis to measure their size and rigidity. The team detected cancerous cells in samples from patients with a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 86%. The researchers were also able to classify stem cells on the basis of their deformability.

Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1200107109 (2012)

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