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Engineered micro-devices for the isolation of circulating tumor cells in clinical routine

Alejandro Kayum Jimenez Zenteno 1
1 LAAS-ELIA - Équipe Ingénierie pour les sciences du vivant
LAAS - Laboratoire d'analyse et d'architecture des systèmes
Abstract : Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are believed to represent the main pathway of cancer dissemination in the human body through the circulatory system. These cells have the ability to detach from the primary tumor, enter into the bloodstream, and survive in this environment. A specific subpopulation of these cells possesses the capacity of colonizing new tissues and forming metastases. The relevance of these rare cells in the bloodstream has been intensively investigated during the last decades, finding that phenotypic and genomic information they carry could be correlated with that of solid biopsies. Moreover, the number and incidence of CTCs in metastatic patients could be used as an indicator for prognosis. Thus, their isolation from blood samples and analysis has been proposed as a surrogate to solid biopsies, having the added value of being a less invasive procedure and allow a more repeated measure. In fine, the routine analysis of CTCs in clinical practice could be used for the real-time monitoring of therapies and the adaptation of treatment in order to improve the outcome of patients, a step forward towards so-called precision medicine. In this PhD project, we have developed novel micro-devices for the capture, in flow conditions, of tumor-derived cells from human whole blood. CTCs being larger and less deformable than normal blood cells, we exploited theses physical traits to discriminate them. Sieve-like micro-devices were engineered to selectively sort out tumor-derived cells having as a priority the preservation of cell integrity and viability. In addition, devices were designed to allow direct access to the isolated biological material and thus perform in situ cell identification, such as immunocytochemistry, but also to potentially serve as a platform for functional analysis. We proposed two approaches compatible with clinical routine. The first approach consists in a customized guiding-strip equipped with integrated microfilters, designed to be introduced directly within the bloodstream through a conventional medical catheter to perform the capture of tumor-derived cells in vivo. The second approach aims to perform CTC isolation ex vivo through the integration of microfilters into a platform compatible with blood collection medical sets. Both technological developments were validated using a cancerous cell line suspended in either cell culture medium or whole blood. Our in vivo approach was optimized using a customized fluidic bench mimicking an artificial human vein and was tested successfully in an animal model. This prototype demonstrated its robustness and capability to capture tumor-derived cells in concentrations within the range found in metastatic patients. This sensitivity appraisal was carried out for the ex vivo approach, demonstrating analogous capture performances. We believe that these technologies could enable repeated and reliable CTC detection for prognosis and monitoring of treatment efficiency in metastatic patients.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 23, 2019 - 10:36:11 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02137588, version 1


Alejandro Kayum Jimenez Zenteno. Engineered micro-devices for the isolation of circulating tumor cells in clinical routine. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier (UT3 Paul Sabatier), 2018. English. ⟨tel-02137588⟩



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