Efficient Isolation and Phenotypic Profiling of Circulating Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells via a Combinatorial-Antibody-Functionalized Microfluidic Synergetic-Chip

Anal Chem. 2020 Nov 17;92(22):15229-15235. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c03936. Epub 2020 Oct 30.


As a malignant disease that seriously threatens human health, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) lacks effective early screening and prognostic assessment methods. Herein, we developed a method for efficient capture and multiphenotype analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) of hepatocellular carcinoma. The anti-ASGPR antibody and the anti-EpCAM antibody were modified in parallel on a deterministic lateral displacement (DLD)-patterned microfluidic Synergetic-Chip to enhance capture efficiency by a complementary effect. CTCs were detected in 45 out of 45 (100%) HCC patients, with a sensitivity and specificity of 97.8 and 100%, respectively. Patients with more total CTCs and nonepithelial CTCs were in later stages of HCC and had more malignant progression. This strategy proposes a feasible approach for early diagnosis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Immobilized / chemistry*
  • Antibodies, Immobilized / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Separation / instrumentation*
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lab-On-A-Chip Devices*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Phenotype*


  • Antibodies, Immobilized
  • Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule