Metas-Chip precisely identifies presence of micrometastasis in live biopsy samples by label free approachEngineering
Detecting the micrometastasis is a major challenge in patients’ survival. The small volume of the biopsied tissue results in limited number of histopathological samples and might reduce the rate of accurate diagnosis even by molecular technologies. We introduce a microelectronic biochip (named Metas-Chip) to detect the micrometastasis in unprocessed liquid or solid samples. It works based on the tendency of malignant cells to track single human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC)-sensing traps. Such cells detach themselves from the biopsied sample and invade the sensing traps by inducing membrane retraction and blebbing, which result in sharp changes in electrical response of the sensing elements. Metas-Chip identified the metastasis in more than 70 breast cancer patients, in less than 5 h. Moreover it detected the metastasis in lymph nodes of nine patients whom were missed by conventional pathological procedure. Multilevel IHC and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests confirmed the diagnosis.