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Minerva Biotecnologica 2007 June;19(2):43-9

language: English

Dielectrophoresis based Lab-on-a-chip platforms for the identification and manipulation of rare cells and microspheres: implications for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis

Borgatti M., Manaresi N., Medoro G., Mancini I., Fabbri E., Guerrieri R., Gambari R.

1 Laboratory for the Development of Pharmacological and Pharmacogenomic Therapy of Thalassemia Biotechnology Center, University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
2 ER-GenTech, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology University of Ferrara, Ferrara, Italy
3 Silicon Biosystems, Bologna, Italy
4 Center of Excellence on Electronic Systems (ARCES) University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


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The isolation of rare cells (such as peripheral hematopoietic stem cells, fetal cells in maternal blood, residual tumor cells or antigen-specific lymphocytes) is a very important research issue in the field of biomedicine. Fluorescence-activated high throughput cell sorting, as well as non contact laser microdissection and pressure catapulting are highly efficient techniques for isolating rare cells. In addition, several achievements in the field of Laboratory-on-a-chip (Lab-on-a-chip) technology have provided clear advancements in projects aimed at the isolation of rare cells from biological fluids. Among the most interesting approaches are those based on dielectrophoresis (DEP). DEP-based Lab-on-a-chip platforms have been demonstrated to be suitable for several applications in biotechnology and biomedicine. DEP-based arrays are able to manipulate single cells, which can be identified and moved throughout the DEP-chip to recovery places. DEP-buffers are compatible with molecular interactions between monoclonal antibodies and target cells, allowing integration of these devices with magnetic cell sorting (MACS). DEP-treatment does not alter the viability of manipulated cells.

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