/ Application Note

Rare Cancer Cell Isolation From Whole Blood Using the MARS Cell Separation System

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cancer cells shed from tumors and circulate in the bloodstream. These cells are considered to be a biomarker which potentially has high value in cancer diagnosis and cancer drug development. However, because of the extremely low frequency of CTC in peripheral blood, which is typically as low as less than 1-10 CTC per mL of whole blood,1 the current CTC isolation and analysis methods are not efficient. At Applied Cells, we developed an integrated system MARS to isolate rare cells from whole blood with high accuracy, recovery and speed. MARS system is built based on multiple physics principles with embedded novel technologies to remove red blood cells and white blood cells to isolate rare cancer cell from blood with automation. We have developed protocols on MARS to isolate rare cancer cells from whole blood for multi-color flow cytometry analysis. In an experimental system, cultured PC3 cells were spiked in whole blood, incubated with fluorescent conjugated antibodies and magnetic particles and then ran through MARS. Enriched PC3 tumor cells were collected and analyzed on a flow cytometer. We demonstrated up to 4 log enrichment of tumor cells with an average recovery of spiked CTC of greater than 90% from the whole blood (R2=0.9855) with a throughput of 10 mL/hour of whole blood sample.

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