Rapid on-chip apoptosis assay on human carcinoma cells based on annexin-V / quantum dot probes

Helena Montón, Mariana Medina-Sánchez, Joan Antoni Soler, Andrzej Chałupniak, Carme Nogués, Arben Merkoçi. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Available online 18 March 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bios.2017.03.034

Despite all the efforts made over years to study the cancer expression and the metastasis event, there is not a clear understanding of its origins and effective treatment. Therefore, more specialized and rapid techniques are required for studying cell behaviour under different drug-based treatments. Here we present a quantum dot signalling-based cell assay carried out in a segmental microfluidic device that allows studying the effect of anti-cancer drugs in cultured cell lines by monitoring phosphatidylserine translocation that occurs in early apoptosis. The developed platform combines the automatic generation of a drug gradient concentration, allowing exposure of cancer cells to different doses, and the immunelabelling of the apoptotic cells using quantum dot reporters. Thereby a complete cell-based assay for efficient drug screening is performed showing a clear correlation between drug dose and amount of cells undergoing apoptosis.

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