Given the potential clinical impact of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in blood as a clinical biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of various cancers, a myriad of detection methods for CTCs have been recently introduced. Among those, a series of microfluidic devices are particularly promising as they uniquely offer micro-scale analytical systems that are highlighted by low consumption of samples and reagents, high flexibility to accommodate other cutting-edge technologies, precise and well-defined flow behaviors, and automation capability, presenting significant advantages over conventional larger scale systems. In this review, we highlight the advantages of microfluidic devices and their potential for translation into CTC detection methods, categorized by miniaturization of bench-top analytical instruments, integration capability with nanotechnologies, and in situ or sequential analysis of captured CTCs. This review provides a comprehensive overview of recent advances in CTC detection achieved through application of microfluidic devices and the challenges that these promising technologies must overcome to be clinically impactful.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering