Nanoscale device can capture and release tumour cells

Scientists have reported a new nanoscale Velcro-like device that captures and releases tumour cells that have broken away from primary tumours and are circulating in the bloodstream.

Developed at the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute, Japan, and the University of California, Los Angeles, this new nanotechnology could be used for cancer diagnosis and give insight into the mechanisms of how cancer spreads throughout the body.

According to a statement, the device provides a non-invasive alternative to biopsy, the current method for diagnosis of metastatic cancer.

It could enable doctors to detect tumour cells that circulate in cancer patients’ blood well before they subsequently colonise as tumours in other organs. The device is also said to enable researchers to keep the tumour cells alive and subsequently study them.

The device was developed by a team led by Hsiao-hua Yu from the RIKEN Advanced Science Institute in Japan and Hsian-Rong Tseng from the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles, in research published online today in the journal Advanced Materials.

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December 17, 2012



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