DOI: 10.1101/488619Dec 7, 2018Paper

In Vivo Flow Cytometry of Extremely Rare Circulating Cells

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Xuefei TanMark Niedre


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are of great interest in cancer research, but methods for their enumeration remain far from optimal. We developed a new small animal research tool called Diffuse in vivo Flow Cytometry (DiFC) for detecting extremely rare fluorescently- labeled circulating cells directly in the bloodstream. The technique exploits near-infrared diffuse photons to detect and count cells flowing in large superficial arteries and veins without drawing blood samples. DiFC uses custom-designed, dual fiber optic probes that are placed in contact with the skin surface approximately above a major vascular bundle. In combination with a novel signal processing, algorithm DiFC allows counting of individual cells moving in arterial or venous directions, as well as measurement of their speed and depth. We show that DiFC allows sampling of the entire circulating blood volume of a mouse in under 10 minutes, while maintaining a false alarm rate of 0.014 per minute. Hence, the unique capabilities of DiFC are highly suited to biological applications involving very rare cell types such as the study of hematogenic cancer metastasis.

Related Concepts

Malignant Neoplasms
Flow Cytometry
Laboratory mice
Circulating Neoplastic Cells
Blood Specimen

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