Uniform multifunctional chitosan microparticles were produced in large numbers using a simple and inexpensive microtubing arrangement. The particles were functionalized through both physical encapsulation of carbon black, to attenuate autofluorescence, and covalent attachment of streptavidin, to enable interactions with biotinylated antibodies. Control over chitosan microparticle properties allowed the synthesis of particles that exhibited favorable interactions with rare cells of interest. The utility of uniform functionalized chitosan microparticles was demonstrated by loading them into a microfluidic packed bed, where model circulating tumor cell (CTC) samples (cancer cells spiked into whole blood) were pumped through. Interestingly, large custom functionalized chitosan microparticles could be employed as a more convenient and cheaper alternative to previously used commercial microparticles. Selective capture of the rare cells at physiologically relevant levels was characterized and compared favorably with previous approaches. The low cost and simplicity of this method for forming and functionalizing chitosan microparticles will enable more researchers to study impactful applications of biopolymer based microparticles.
Pub Type: Journals
Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs), Rare cell capture, biopolymer, microbeads, microfluidic