Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Catch and release of rare cancer cells inspired by jellyfish

Date:
November 12, 2012
Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Summary:
A research team has developed a novel device that may one day have broad therapeutic and diagnostic uses in the detection and capture of rare cell types, such as cancer cells, fetal cells, viruses and bacteria.

Inspired by jellyfish tentacles, the Karp lab team developed a novel method that can capture rare cancer cells and pathogens in the blood.
Credit: Brigham and Women's Hospital

A research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital has developed a novel device that may one day have broad therapeutic and diagnostic uses in the detection and capture of rare cell types, such as cancer cells, fetal cells, viruses and bacteria. The device is inspired by the long, elegant appendages of sea creatures, such as jellyfish and sea cucumbers.

Related Articles


The study will be published online on Nov. 12, 2012 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The device, a microchip, is inspired by a jellyfish's long, sticky tentacles that are used to capture miniscule food flowing in the water. The researchers designed a chip that uses a three-dimensional DNA network made up of long DNA strands with repetitive sequences that -- like the jellyfish tentacles -- can detect, bind and capture certain molecules.

The researchers, led by Jeffrey Karp, PhD, BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, senior study author, and Rohit Karnik, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, co-author, created the chip using a microfluidic surface and methods that allowed them to rapidly replicate long DNA strands with multiple targeting sites that can bind to cancer cells, but also custom tailor critical characteristics, such as DNA length and sequence which would allow them to target various cell types.

In this study, Karp and his team tested the chip using a DNA sequence that had a specific affinity to a cell-surface protein found abundantly in human cancer cells.

The researchers engineered the device to efficiently capture a higher quantity of cancer cells from whole blood patient samples at much higher flow rates compared to other methods that use shorter DNA strands or antibodies.

"The chip we have developed is highly sensitive. From just a tiny amount of blood, the chip can detect and capture the small population of cancer cells responsible for cancer relapse," said Weian Zhao, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow from the Karp lab who is now faculty at the University of California, Irvine, and first study author.

In addition to using the device for blood-based cancers, it may find application to isolate cells that break away from solid tumors and travel through the bloodstream.

"What most people don't realize is that it is the metastasis that kills, not the primary tumor," said Karp. "Our device has the potential to catch these cells in the act with its 'tentacles' before they may seed a new tumor in a distant organ."

Moreover, unlike other methods, the device was able to maintain a high purity of the captured cells that could easily be released and cultured in the laboratory.

"One of the greatest challenges in the treatment of cancer patients is to know which drug to prescribe," said Karp. "By isolating circulating tumor cells before and after the first round of chemotherapy is given, we can determine the biology behind why certain cells are resistant to chemotherapy. We can also use the isolated cells to screen drugs for personalized treatments that could boost effectiveness and hopefully prevent cancer relapse."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brigham and Women's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Weian Zhao, Cheryl H. Cui, Suman Bose, Dagang Guo, Chong Shen, Wesley P. Wong, Ken Halvorsen, Omid C. Farokhzad, Grace Sock Leng Teo, Joseph A. Phillips, David M. Dorfman, Rohit Karnik, and Jeffrey M. Karp. Bioinspired multivalent DNA network for capture and release of cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1211234109

Cite This Page:

Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Catch and release of rare cancer cells inspired by jellyfish." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171314.htm>.
Brigham and Women's Hospital. (2012, November 12). Catch and release of rare cancer cells inspired by jellyfish. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171314.htm
Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Catch and release of rare cancer cells inspired by jellyfish." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121112171314.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

More Coverage


Jellyfish-Inspired Device That Captures Cancer Cells from Blood Samples Could Enable Better Patient Monitoring

Nov. 12, 2012 Tumor cells circulating in a patient's bloodstream can yield a great deal of information on how a tumor is responding to treatment and what drugs might be more effective against it. But first, ... read more

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins