A magnetic microneedle to isolate single immunomagnetically labeled cells

Michiel Stevens*, Philip Harder, Leon W.M.M. Terstappen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Immunomagnetic enrichment of cell populations from bodily fluids followed by immunofluorescent labeling is an established sample preparation method often used for the detection and enumeration of rare cells such as circulating tumor cells. For a detailed analysis of the heterogeneous characteristics of these cells, the cells need to be retrieved individually. Although several technologies are available to obtain 100% pure cells either individually or in bulk, these are often expensive, have low specificity, or suffer from high cell losses, either inherent to the technology or caused by sample transfer into special chips. To solve this issue, we introduce the magnetic micro-needle approach, which allows for the isolation of immunomagnetically labeled target cells by the use of a magnetized microneedle directly from glass slides. The magnetic microneedle approach makes use of the already present magnetic labeling used for enrichment, while the glass-slide-based open sample container allows for easy and loss-free sample loading. Additionally, the system facilitates not only the isolation but also the precise placement of cells. As the used parts are low cost, the technology provides researchers with an affordable and efficient method to pick up and isolate, as well as specifically place magnetically labeled cells from enriched fractions, thereby enabling the researchers to isolate or analyze these rare cells in more detail.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-466
Number of pages7
JournalLab on a chip
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 6 Dec 2023


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