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New Device Retrieves Circulating Tumor Cells Without Biochemical Labeling

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 18 Jun 2013
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Image: The ClearCell FX System for retrieval of circulating tumor cells. (Photo courtesy of Clearbridge BioMedics).
Image: The ClearCell FX System for retrieval of circulating tumor cells. (Photo courtesy of Clearbridge BioMedics).
A new device has been developed for improved cancer diagnosis and monitoring, without biochemical markers, that uses a noninvasive “liquid biopsy” approach for cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, personalized medication, and treatment monitoring.

Clearbridge BioMedics (Singapore) introduces its “ClearCell FX System,” a new generation cancer diagnostic and monitoring device that rapidly detects and isolates intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from small quantities of patient blood samples. The ClearCell FX System technology separates and isolates cells by using novel inertia focusing spiral microfluidics in the single-use “CTChip FR.” This enables the continuous label-free separation—without biochemical labels—of CTCs from blood cells. The larger and denser CTCs are separated from other blood cells within the spiral biochip due to biomechanical differences and are then focused into an enriched cell “stream.” These cell streams are channeled and collected into an enriched sample, which can be used for pathology diagnostic tests such as mutation testing for targeted therapies. The isolated CTCs can be stained for identification and enumeration, or retrieved for further molecular analysis.

“This has been a collaborative merging of our extensive experience in diagnostic device development and Clearbridge BioMedics’ expertise in cancer research and diagnostics—and it’s led to breakthrough technology that will have a huge impact on a lot of people’s lives,” said John Pritchard, head of diagnostics at Cambridge Consultants of Altran; “Our systems engineering approach, coupled with our skills in fluidics, software, and compliance, has enabled us to work quickly and efficiently with Clearbridge BioMedics—even though we are thousands of miles apart.” Clearbridge BioMedics also collaborated with the National University of Singapore and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center.

The new system, designed for both research and diagnostics applications, will be undergoing regulatory approval in the US and Europe. “Once approved, it will be one of the world’s first label-free CTC enrichment systems for diagnostic use. Clearbridge BioMedics believes this system will be an ideal companion diagnostic system that complements various cancer therapies,” said Johnson Chen, cofounder and managing director of Clearbridge BioMedics.

Related Links:

Clearbridge BioMedics
Cambridge Consultants

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