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The 15th National Innovation Award: High-purity rare cells isolation and purification instrument

 

The 15th National Innovation Award: High-purity rare cells isolation and purification instrument

Prof. Min-Hsien Wu, Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering

Cell identification, observation, enumeration, isolation and purification are indispensable basic technologies in the field of biomedicine. In the middle of the 20th century, a concept of pulling a large number of cells through a continuous high-pressure fluid by using a specific signal recognition system was proposed, which became a commonly used instrument for biomedical research nowadays - cell sorter. However, this instrument has its technical disadvantages, such as lacking of real-time image information and cannot achieve 100% cell isolation purity. Other than that, high-pressure fluids during operation may cause cell damage or cell physiological state change easily. In addition, cell sorter is also difficult to purify and isolate trace target cells. In order to solve the above-mentioned problems, we have developed a new type of cell enumeration, isolation and purification instrument with the combination of optically-induced dielectrophoresis (ODEP) and microfluidic technology. This instrument not only can perform real-time cell image analysis, but it can also be used for isolation and purification of trace target cells. The process of isolation and purification is cell friendly. The research and development of this technology integrates the resources of industry, university, and hospitals. The R&D team members include Professor Min-Hsien Wu of the Graduate Institute of Biomedical Engineering of Chang Gung University, Professor Ping-Hei Chen of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of National Taiwan University, Dr. Hung-Ming Wang and Dr. Chia-Hsun Hsieh of the Division of Hematology-Oncology of the Department of Internal Medicine of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Dr. Tzu-Keng Chiu, project manager of Ace Medical Technology Co. Ltd., Dr. Wen-Pin Chou, Dr. Chia-Jung Liao, Po-Yu Chu, Feng Chun Hung and other technical developers. This technology is characterized by combining conductive glass with a specially designed microchannel film to form an optoelectronic microfluidic chip. The operator can directly manipulate the biological cells in the chip through the light graphic projected by the projector, and can simultaneously manipulate multiple cells in a single field of view. These are the functions that cannot be achieved by using the cell sorter. This research achievement won the 15th “National Innovation Award” presented by the Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry (IBMI) this year. This is the highest honour for local innovative technologies and product development in the field of biotechnology. We hope this product can contribute to the isolation and purification of trace cells (e.g., circulating tumor cells) and their subsequent analysis.

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