Monodisperse (4 μm) macroporous crosslinked poly(glycidyl methacrylate) (PGMA) microspheres for use in microfluidic immunomagnetic cell sorting, with a specific application to the capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), were prepared by multistep swelling polymerization in the presence of cyclohexyl acetate porogen and hydrolyzed and ammonolyzed. Iron oxide was then precipitated in the microspheres to render them magnetic. Repeated precipitation made possible to raise the iron oxide content to more than 30 wt %. To minimize nonspecific adsorption of the microspheres in a microchannel and of cells on the microspheres, they were coated with albumin crosslinked with glutaraldehyde. Antibodies of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (anti-EpCAM) were then immobilized on the albumin-coated magnetic microspheres using the carbodiimide method. Capture of breast cancer MCF7 cells as a model of CTCs by the microspheres with immobilized anti-EpCAM IgG was performed in a batch experiment. Finally, MCF7 cells were captured by the anti-EpCAM-immobilized albumin-coated magnetic microspheres in an Ephesia chip. A very good rejection of lymphocytes was achieved. Thus, albumin-coated monodisperse magnetic PGMA microspheres with immobilized anti-EpCAM seem to be promising for capture of CTCs in a microfluidic device.
Horak, Daniel, Zuzana Svobodova, Julien Autebert, Benoit Coudert, Zdenek Plichta, Karel Kralovec, Zuzana Bilkova, Jean-Louis Viovy
J. Biomed. Mater. Res.