Webinar  /  March 22, 2023, 11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. CET

Webinar “The devil is in the details – Automated isolation of circulating tumor cells from liquid biopsies”

Cancer in its diversity concerns us all. Over time, most of us come into contact with this disease, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly. The fight against cancer is an arduous undertaking. It calls for technologies and solutions that can make a difference. This is where our applied research in microfluidics comes into play because microfluidic systems have the potential to improve applied cancer research and subsequent cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Cancer metastases descend from proliferative circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that spread from the primary tumor via blood and lymphatic vessels. Since the number and genetic fingerprint of tumor-associated cells in patient blood correlates with disease progression, CTC analysis from blood samples has been established for diagnostic and prognostic purposes as well as for therapy monitoring in the context of liquid biopsy over the last two decades.

Due to the very low frequency of CTCs among millions of blood cells, isolation of single tumor cells requires a precise balance between specificity and sensitivity and remains a challenge to enter clinical routine or health insurance guidelines. Against this background, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microtechnology and Microsystems recognized the urgent need for standardized CTC isolation and developed automated microfluidic platforms for enrichment, detection and isolation of single tumor cells from 7.5 mL patient samples.

Following intensive characterization work, initial experiments thus allowed minimally invasive isolation of individual circulating tumor cells from blood samples of cancer patients and classification into important subgroups based on the expression of their surface features. Especially with cell therapy and mRNA agents on the rise, a more precise blueprint of the isolated CTCs could make a decisive contribution to the fight against cancer in the future.

In our webinar, we present our approaches and solutions and show you how you can work with us to develop them to market maturity.

The presentation will be held in English.