Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2017.



First Advisor

Emre Araci


To learn more about cancer, health professionals and researchers seek to understand the mutational characteristics of tumors in order to improve treatment for patients and ideally eradicate cancer. A diagnostic tool for cancer is a tumor biopsy. However, biopsies are typically unattainable without a painful and exhausting surgery. Our simple solution to traditional biopsies is a liquid biopsy, which utilizes magnetic fields combined with the surface protein expression of CTCs. Capture of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can lead to further research on understanding cancer. This thesis involves optimizing the immunomagnetic capture and release of circulating tumor cells using a Magnetic SifterTM chip. Our objective is to maximize elution by varying hydrophobic surface coatings on the Magnetic SifterTM, such as TCMS, Parylene-C, and Rain-X. Multiple parameters in this process were optimized in order to achieve approximately 80% capture efficiency and 6% elution. This “liquid biopsy” will reduce the need for invasive tumor biopsies for personalized cancer treatment and diagnosis by providing a noninvasive way to analyze tumor properties without subjecting the patient to invasive surgery.

SCU Access Only

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