Researchers at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US have developed a device based on Velcro-like nanoscale technology to identify and capture tumour cells circulating in the blood.
The nanopillar-covered silicon chip measures 2.5x5cm, 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 from prostate cancer patients.
The results showed that the device was capable of highly efficient enrichment of rare circulating tumour cells captured in the samples.
According to researchers, the new technology is faster, cheaper and captures a greater number of circulating tumour cells compared to existing methods.
Circulating tumour cells play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, and capturing them can facilitate the early detection and diagnosis of cancer.