Optofluidic Device Detects Tumour Cells in Blood
Credit: Universitat Rovira i Virgili
Researchers at the URV’s Department of Physical and Inorganic Chemistry, led by the ICREA researcher, Ramon Álvarez Puebla, and the professor of Applied Physics, Francesc Díaz, and the Department of Clinical Oncology of the HM Torrelodones University Hospital, have patented a portable device that can detect tumour cells in blood.
The device counts the number of tumour cells in a blood sample in real time and is thus a highly effective tool for improving the monitoring, treatment and diagnosis of cancer.
Very useful for clinical use
The system has been successfully tested on patients in various stages of breast cancer and could be used to determine the presence of other tumours by analysing different antibodies in the blood sample.
Patients with cancer, particularly if it has metastasised, need to be constantly monitored during treatment to assess the progress of the disease. This is currently done using imaging techniques and biopsies which are invasive and not always possible. In contrast, the device designed by the URV researchers is highly sensitive and requires no surgery or treatment involving radiation. It is thus a highly useful clinical method because it improves patient quality of life by removing the need for the more invasive traditional procedures.
The device will be a useful tool for accurately determining a patient’s level of health because it can monitor cancer quickly, cheaply, effectively and non-invasively. Furthermore, it can assist in the early diagnosis of the disease and monitor tumours more effectively and in a manner that has a less negative effect on patients’ bodies.
Two integrated systems
The new device uses two systems in miniature: a flow system and an optical system. The first causes the blood cells to flow in alignment, while the second uses two optic fibres (a laser diode and a photodetector) to analyse the cells and count those which are cancerous and those which are not. The ratio between the two gives an understanding as to how the cancer is progressing.
This complex system is the result of research published in the Nature group’s Scientific Reports and is part of the doctoral thesis by Eric Pedrol, supervised by Jaume Masons and Francesc Díaz, in collaboration with the Department of Clinical Oncology of the HM Torrelodones University Hospital, led by the researcher Eduardo García–Rico.
The device has been jointly patented by the URV, the ICREA, the CTQC, Medcom Advance and Medcom Tech. It has been licenced for commercialisation to Medcom Science, a company engaged in the research and development of technologies for diagnosing and treating cancer. At the URV, the technology and the licence to Medcom Science have been protected by the URV’s Research Exploitation Unit.
This article has been republished from materials provided by Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
E. Pedrol, M. Garcia-Algar, J. Massons, M. Nazarenus, L. Guerrini, J. Martínez, A. Rodenas, A. Fernandez-Carrascal, M. Aguiló, L.G. Estevez, I. Calvo, A. Olano-Daza, E. Garcia-Rico, F. Díaz, R.A. Alvarez-Puebla: “Optofluidic device for the quantification of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer”. Scientific Reports (2017) 7, 3677 (DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-04033-9)
PhoreMost Completes $15M (£11M) Series-A Round to Enter Drug DiscoveryNews
Investment to fund expansion of operations and progression of drug target pipeline.READ MORE
Nanoparticles Derived from Tea Leaves Destroy Lung Cancer CellsNews
Nanoparticles derived from tea leaves inhibit the growth of lung cancer cells, destroying up to 80% of them, new research by a joint Swansea University and Indian team has shown.
Algorithm Predicts Life Expectancy After Heart AttackNews
A new algorithm developed by UCLA researchers more accurately predicts which people will survive heart failure, and for how long, whether or not they receive a heart transplant. The algorithm would allow doctors to make more personalized assessments of people who are awaiting heart transplants, which in turn could enable health care providers to make better use of limited life-saving resources and potentially reduce health care costs.