Electrokinetic micro-devices for rapid, label-free, and highly sensitive detection of circulating cancer biomarkers Event as iCalendar


11 December 2017

2 - 3pm

Venue: Ground floor seminar room (G10)

Location: 70 Symonds St, Auckland Central

Note the change from the usual date and time.

An ABI seminar by Dr Leyla Esfandiari, Departments of Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, USA.


Cancer is among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, yet about 46% of patients forsake routine screening because of the costly, invasive and uncomfortable nature of these procedures including tissue biopsy. As a result, there are significant efforts in basic and clinical research to develop a liquid biopsy, a blood test for circulating cancer-related biomarkers such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cell-free DNA (cfDNA), and cell-secreted small extracellular vesicles (exosomes). Among these circulating markers, exosomes, 30-100 nm in diameter, have drawn a great deal of attention due to their high abundance in all body fluids and their enriched and highly stable gene regulatory microRNA contents. Thus, exosome research has tremendous potential for clinical application, but it is impeded by the lack of reliable, sensitive, and high throughput bioanalytical tools with sub-100nm length scale resolution that can selectively isolate and precisely characterize exosomes from body fluids.

In this talk, new electrokinetic micro-devices are introduced for selective and rapid exosomes entrapment and detection of their gene regulatory (microRNA) contents. The isolation approach uses a low-voltage nanopipette dielectrophoretic (DEP) device in which exosomes are selectively entrapped by their unique dielectric properties and their microRNA contents are detected by an electro-osmotically driven solid-state nanopore sensor. These fast, sensitive and miniaturized devices will have the potential to be integrated as a point-of-care (POC) system and be used as a minimally invasive and early cancer diagnostic.