Multiplexed SERS for Rare Cell Detection in Flow
The reliable and fast identification of different types of cells is of utmost importance in several biomedical applications. The detection of cancer cells in bio-fluids such as urine and blood will be crucial to detect patients? response to therapy, to monitor drug resistance effects, as well as to early identification of disease recurrence, and ultimately for a personalized medicine approach. We have demonstrated that surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) based biotags (SBTs), can be used as multiplexed barcodes to confidently distinguish between cancerous and noncancerous epithelial prostate cells in vitro (cultures) based on receptor overexpression ratios. We have previously shown that with a similar SERS analytical approach we can detect and discriminate SBT-labeled polymer beads in microfluidic flow. Here, we present a powerful multiplexing platform that uses principal component analysis (PCA) to discriminate among SBT-labeled object populations (beads or cells) that flow in a microfluidic disposable cartridge.