Microchips and their Significance in Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells and Monitoring of Cancers


Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Qazvin University of Medical Sciences, Qazvin, Iran


In micro-fluid systems, fluids are injected into extremely narrow polymer channels in small amounts such as micro-, nano-, or pico-liter scales. These channels themselves are embedded on tiny chips. Various specialized structures in the chips including pumps, valves, and channels allow the chips to accept different types of fluids to be entered the channel and along with flowing through the channels, exert their effects in the framework of different reactions. The chips are generally crystal, silicon, or elastomer in texture. These highly organized structures are equipped with discharging channels through which products as well as wastes of the reactions are secreted out. A particular advantage regarding the use of fluids in micro-scales over macro-scales lies in the fact that these fluids are much better processed in the chips when they applied as micro-scales. When the laboratory is miniaturized as a microchip and solutions are injected on a micro-scale, this combination makes a specialized construction referred to as "lab-on-chip". Taken together, micro-fluids are among the novel technologies which further than declining the costs; enhancing the test repeatability, sensitivity, accuracy, and speed; are emerged as widespread technology in laboratory diagnosis. They can be utilized for monitoring a wide spectrum of biological disorders including different types of cancers. When these microchips are used for cancer monitoring, circulatory tumor cells play a fundamental role.