The arrays consist of 60-240 elements of individual nanotube devices which traps the cells from complex fluids such as buffy coats/blood using specific antibodies. Each device in the array can be individually addressed. The team found unique electrical signature of specific interaction versus non-specific interaction of cells spiked in buffy coats.

A statistical classifier based on Dynamic Time Warping enables the electrical signatures from the devices to be classified as specific versus non-specific with 91% sensitivity, 82% specificity and 86% accuracy. Isolated devices based on electrical signatures showed the presence of cancer cells both in optical and confocal image analysis with single cell sensitivity. The array approach can enable ease and rapid isolation and detection of CTCs in blood using the reported approach.

More information about this research can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 27 13LT02.