Cell detachment model for an antibody-based microfluidic cancer screening system

Swapnil P. Wankhede, Zhiqiang Du, Jordan M. Berg, Mark W. Vaughn, Tim Dallas, Kwan H. Cheng, Lauren Gollahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We consider cells bound to the floor of a microfluidic channel and present a model of their flow-induced detachment. We approximate hydrodynamic force and cell elastic response using static finite-element simulation of a single cell. Detachment is assumed to occur when hydrodynamic and adhesive forces are roughly equal. The result is extended to multiple cells at the device level using a sigmoidal curve fit. The model is applied to a microfluidic cancer-screening device that discriminates between normal epithelial cells and cells infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), on the basis of increased expression of the transmembrane protein 0.6 integrin in the latter. Here, the cells to be tested are bound to a microchannel floor coated with anti 0.6 integrin antibodies. In an appropriate flow rate range, normal cells are washed away while HPV-infected cells remain bound. The model allows interpolation between data points to choose the optimal flow rate and provides insight into interaction of cell mechanical properties and the flow-induced detachment mechanism. Notably, the results suggest a significant influence of cell elastic response on detachment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1426-1433
Number of pages8
JournalBiotechnology Progress
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


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