Circulating Tumor Cell Enrichment with Microbubbles

Bulk Methods Aren’t Good Enough for CTCs

Even after enrichment steps—such as Ficoll, lysis, or microfluidics—significant numbers of red blood cells often remain and prohibit effective downstream analysis of CTCs.

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) enable a powerful new opportunity for liquid biopsies to diagnose, phenotype, and manage cancer noninvasively. The extreme rarity of these cells make it challenging to isolate them from millions of neighboring leukocytes and billions of red blood cells (RBCs).

Learn more about our products: RBC Depletion Kit.

Too Many RBCs Cause Too Many Problems

When peripheral blood is harvested and cleaned up with a combination of density gradient and microfluidics, the sample may still contain over 90% RBCs. This is a problem.

In fact, in our conversations with researchers we have heard first hand how red blood cells get in the way:

  • Lower loading efficiency for single-cell genomics – When excessive RBCs are present, they reduce the number of wells loaded on sequencing systems.
  • Limits the Integration of Microfluidics – Labs are working to use new microfluidic system as a bulk enrichment step. However, excessive RBCs can still be present and reduce the ability to perform downstream testing.
  • Physically blocks culture – When working to culture rare cells, RBCs take up precious real estate on the plate. This can physically limit the growth of rare cells.

Microscopy image showing excessive red blood cells

in a cancer cell sample (green cells).

Use Microbubbles to Remove These RBCs

With the Akadeum Human Red Blood Cell Depletion Kit, rare target populations are enriched in 10 minutes, allowing for higher efficiency of downstream single-cell analytics.

Keep the CTCs, Lose the RBCs

Akadeum’s Human RBC Depletion Microbubbles provide a fast, easy, and gentle way to remove RBCs that persist after initial processing of blood or tissue. We have designed microbubbles to be:

Fast

Perform a quick clean up in 10 minutes before identifying, isolating and analyzing CTCs.

Save 30 minutes or more per prep.

Easy

Complete the whole process within a tube. All you need is our microbubble reagent and gravity.

No magnet is required: save the $500-1000 you would spend on buying a magnet.

Highly Specific

Up to 99% removal of RBCs from samples in less than 10 minutes start-to-finish without losing precious CTCskeep the CTCs, lose the RBCs.

This flow cytometry diagram shows over 97% depletion of spiked red blood cells from PBMCs in 7 minutes. The RBC population is in the upper left of each diagram.

Want to start using microbubbles? Check out our RBC Depletion Kit or contact us for more information.