WCPP’s Annual Recognition Award winner Massachusetts General Professor of Surgery (biomedical engineering) Dr. Mehmet Toner holds up the business-card-size smart chip detector that his StandUpToCancer-backed team designed and built to trap circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample.
The device uses antibodies that bind to certain cell proteins to isolate and capture the CTCs. Many tumors release cells into the bloodstream; if a CTC finds purchase in another organ and starts to grow, that is metastasis. The breakaway cells are not easy to spot — there are a billion blood cells for every one of them — but detecting their presence is critical to stopping their spread.
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