Circulating Tumor Cells

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When tumor cells are shed into the bloodstream, the process of metastasis continues into the vasculature. These circulating tumor cells (CTCs) then have the chance to adhere and proliferate in other parts of the body, creating new tumors. In order to fully understand the intricacies of this process, analyzing CTCs in a controlled environment under the presence of shear flow is crucial.

With the BioFlux system, CTC behavior can be studied in a microfluidic well plate, an advantageous format for small sample volumes and rare cells. CTC behavior is analyzed in a flow environment, thus utilized to mimic the blood flow in the vasculature. Studying CTCs under the presence of flow allows researchers to discover the precursors and processes of metastasis, CTC clumping, adherence, and more. Having control over factors such as shear flow, pressure, and temperature eliminates much variability, and is well coupled with in vivo studies.

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DU-145 cells were flowed into prolectin-coated BioFlux channels. The cells that had the highest amount of prolectin ligands bound more frequently to the channels (Nanus et al., 2013).

Key BioFlux Advantages For CTC Studies