What do we want to do?
Living circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as escaping pioneers of tumor cells in the blood cause cancer metastasis. In order to recognize, visualize, and capture of living CTCs with high purity and integrity, we constructed a multifunctional DNA hydrogel like a prison CELL capsuling CTCs, and defined this new platform as “cell in CELL” (CiC).
How did we do this?
Our project uses the fluorescence-labeled ssDNA aptamers for specifically targeting the receptors of CTCs and visualizing them. Once the aptamer successfully targets the CTCs, the sticky ends of the ssDNA will be exposed further for triggering the adhesion of sticky-end pairing ssDNA. The pairing ssDNA can induce rolling circle amplification (RCA, or R) and subsequent multi-primed chain amplification (MCA, or M), thus form the CiC around CTCs. Using this strategy, we can achieve the goal of targeting, capturing and isolating the CTCs.
What's good about it?
In this way, we can achieve a controllable size and shape of the DNA hydrogel around single CTC, which can enlarge CTC size for centrifugal isolation and meanwhile keep their bioactivity. In this work, we achieve a feasible and economical CiC for clinical CTCs-capture and analysis.