Development of a platform for isolation and propagation of single circulating cancer stem cells from the blood of cancer patients


In our previous works, we identified metastatic cancer stem cells (CSCs) as the most aggressive subset of CSCs that can also be found in the circulating blood. Herein, we seek to develop advanced technology to efficiently isolate and propagate single tumorigenic CSCs from the circulating blood from cancer patients, thereby targeting a major milestone in establishing the future CSC-centred therapeutics. Novel nano-volume well plates from our preliminary work for expanding single CSCs, will be advanced by the creation and tight control of more complex, biomimetic, and tuneable three-dimensional (3D) environments to propagate these extremely rare circulating cells at high fidelity.


Lonardo, E., Hermann, P.C., Mueller, M.T., Huber, S., Balic, A., Miranda-Lorenzo, I., Zagorac, S., Alcala, S., Rodriguez-Arabaolaza, I., Ramirez, J.C., et al. (2011). Nodal/Activin signaling drives self-renewal and tumorigenicity of pancreatic cancer stem cells and provides a target for combined drug therapy. Cell Stem Cell 9, 433-446.


Miranda-Lorenzo, I., Dorado, J., Lonardo, E., Alcala, S., Serrano, A.G., Clausell-Tormos, J., Cioffi, M., Megias, D., Zagorac, S., Balic, A., et al. (2014). Intracellular autofluorescence: a biomarker for epithelial cancer stem cells. Nat Methods 11, 1161-1169.


Clausell-Tormos, J., Azevedo, M.M., Miranda-Lorenzo, I., Vieira, C.R., Sanchez-Ripoll, Y., Megias, D., and Heeschen, C. (2014). Nano-Volume Well Array Chip for Large-Scale Propagation and High-Resolution Analysis of Individual Cancer Stem Cells. J Nanomed Nanotechnol.


Renfer, A., Tiwari, M. K. , Meyer, F., Brunschwiler, T. , Michel, B. and Poulikakos, D. (2013). Vortex shedding from confined micropin arrays, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 15, 231–242.


Schneider, J., Rohner, P., Galliker, P., Raja, S. N., Pan, Y., Tiwari, M. K., and Poulikakos, D. (2015). Site-specific deposition of single gold nanoparticles by individual growth in electrohydrodynamically-printed attoliter droplet reactors, Nanoscale, to appear.

Biological Areas:

Cell Biology


Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology