Capture and detection of cancer cells in whole blood with magnetic-optical nanoovals


Aim: To develop a simple assay for the capture and detection of rare cancer cells in whole blood using iron oxide-gold (IO-Au) nanoparticles. Materials & methods: IO-Au nanoovals (NOVs) were synthesized, coated with Raman tags and linked with antibodies targeting breast cancer. An integrated system was constructed for on-line magnetic cell capture and surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection. The capabilities of IO-Au SERS NOVs to capture and detect rare cancer cells in blood were investigated in the integrated system using circulating tumor cell-mimic SK-BR-3 cells. Results: SK-BR-3 cells in whole blood were magnetically captured under a flow condition using IO-Au SERS NOVs, followed by on-line SERS detection with a limit of detection of 1-2 cells/ml blood. Conclusion: We developed a sensitive method that can capture and detect cancer cells in whole blood with a single nanoconstruct, which is highly promising for the detection of circulating tumor cells in the clinic. Original submitted 7 December 2012; Revised submitted 25 March 201. © 2014 Future Medicine Ltd.

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