Adhesion based detection, sorting and enrichment of cells in microfluidic Lab-on-Chip devices
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The detection, isolation and sorting of cells are important tools in both clinical diagnostics and fundamental research. Advances in microfluidic cell sorting devices have enabled scientists to attain improved separation with comparative ease and considerable time savings. Despite the great potential of Lab-on-Chip cell sorting devices for targeting cells with desired specificity and selectivity, this field of research remains unexploited. The challenge resides in the detection techniques which has to be specific, fast, cost-effective, and implementable within the fabrication limitations of microchips. Adhesion-based microfluidic devices seem to be a reliable solution compared to the sophisticated detection techniques used in other microfluidic cell sorting systems. It provides the specificity in detection, label-free separation without requirement for a preprocessing step, and the possibility of targeting rare cell types. This review elaborates on recent advances in adhesion-based microfluidic devices for sorting, detection and enrichment of different cell lines, with a particular focus on selective adhesion of desired cells on surfaces modified with ligands specific to target cells. The effect of shear stress on cell adhesion in flow conditions is also discussed. Recently published applications of specific adhesive ligands and surface functionalization methods have been presented to further elucidate the advances in cell adhesive microfluidic devices.
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