Design and Fabrication of a Microfluidic CTC Chip for Cancer Diagnostics
Project Description

Cancer is one of the top killers in Hong Kong and the other world. Conventional cancer diagnostics using invasive biopsy and/or positron emission tomography in hospitals is expensive and time-consuming. The counting of the circulation tumor cell (CTC) in human blood has been shown to be one new possible way for cancer diagnostics. However, the concentration of CTC in comparison with the other blood cells is much lower (hundreds of cells per mL). CellSearchTM System (Veridex LLC, USA) has been approved for CTC analsys by US FDA. However, CTC analysis using CellSearch is very expensive. In recent years, there are two possible approaches for microfluidic chip to capture CTC: antibody-based and filtration according to cell sizes (typical CTCs are larger than blood cells). This project is to design and fabricate a new type of filtration-based microfluidic chip for CTC analysis by using MEMS technology. This project is in collaboration with Dr Dayu Liu in Guangzhou First People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China

LEE Yi-Kuen
Course type
Applicant's Roles

The design and manufacturing of this prototype are challenging. Each student will be responsible for one of the following design and manufacturing:
1. Design and chacterize the deep reactive ion eching (DRIE) technique for fabrication of microfluidic CTC chip,
2. Design and fabricate the packaging of microfluidic CTC chip,
3. Characterize the performance of microfluiidc CTC chip using fluorescence microscopy,
4. Conduct computation fluid mechanics study to optimize the design of microfluidic CTC chip.

Applicant's Learning Objectives

1 Understand basic principle of microfabrication techniques
2 Develop an understanding of cancer and circulation tumor cell
3 Develop experimental skills to conduct microfabrication processes
4 Develop computational skills to design and analyze microfluidic devices
5 Develop and practice communication and team skills.

Complexity of the project