The detection of rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of cancer patients has the potential to be a powerful and noninvasive method for examining metastasis, evaluating prognosis, assessing tumor sensitivity to drugs, and monitoring therapeutic outcomes. In this study, we have developed an efficient strategy to isolate CTCs from the blood of breast cancer patients using a microfluidic immune-affinity approach. Additionally, to gain further access to these rare cells for downstream characterization, our strategy allows for easy detachment of the captured CTCs from the substrate without compromising cell viability or the ability to employ next generation RNA sequencing for the identification of specific breast cancer genes. To achieve this, a chemical ligand-exchange reaction was engineered to release cells attached to a gold nanoparticle coating bound to the surface of a herringbone microfluidic chip (NP-HBCTC-Chip). Compared to the use of the unmodified HBCTC-Chip, our approach provides several advantages, including enhanced capture efficiency and recovery of isolated CTCs.