Anticlogging Hemofiltration Device for Mass Collection of Circulating Tumor Cells by Ligand-Free Size Selection

Tzu Hsien Wu, Cheng Han Wu, Chun Jen Huang, Ying Chih Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A new hemofiltration system was developed to continuously capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a large volume of whole blood using a column that was packed with antifouling zwitterionized silica microspheres. The silica microspheres were modified with sulfobetaine silane (SBSi) to inhibit fouling, resist clogging, and give a high surface wettability and prolonged operation time. Packed microspheres with different diameters formed size-controllable interstitial pores that effectively captured CTCs by ligand-free size selection. For optimized performance of the hemofiltration system, operational factors, including the size of microspheres, flow rate, and cross-sectional area of the column, were considered with respect to the removal rate for colorectal cancer cells and the retention rate for white blood cells and red blood cells. The captured CTCs were collected from the column by density sedimentation. A large quantity of colorectal cancer cells was spiked into sheep blood, and the sample was circulated for 5 h with a total operational volume of 2 L followed by collection and culture in vitro. The results showed that the proposed hemofiltration device selectively removed abundant CTCs from in vitro circulatory blood. The viable cells were harvested for amplification and potential applications for precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3399-3409
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2021


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