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In this preliminary effort, we use a commercially available and chemically modified tube to selectively capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from the blood stream by immobilizing human anti-EpCAM antibodies on the tube's interior surface.We describe the requisite and critical steps required to modify a tube into a cancer cell-capturing device. Using these simple modifications, we were able to capture or entrap about 85% of cancer cells from suspension and 44% of cancer cells from spiked whole blood. We also found that the percentage of cells captured was dependent on the tube's length and also the number of cancer cells present. It is our strong belief that with the utilization of appropriate tube lengths and procedures, we can ensure capture and removal of nearly the entire CTC population in whole blood. Importantly after a patient’s entire blood volume has circulated through the tube, the tube can then be trypsinized to release the captured live CTCs for further analysis and testing.


This article was originally published in PLOS One.

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