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Table 1 A comparison of all the currently available CTC methods using whole blood, where each method is compared with the other methods and with the only FDA-approved technique. From a clinical perspective, we found the data describing the clinical detection to be the most important. This table shows the immunoaffinity

From: Technologies for circulating tumor cell separation from whole blood

Separation category subcategory Technology Company Selection criteria Key features Capture efficiency Purity Recovery Viability Sample volume Throughput Clinical detection
Immunoaffinity CellSearcha [47,48,49] Menarini-Silicon Biosystems EpCAM FDA approved for advanced breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers; ferrofluid nanoparticles; cannot process whole blood    ≥ 85% Nonviable 7.5 ml   71.4% (35/49)
Immunomagnetic positive enrichment MagSweeper [50] Stanford University EpCAM High-purity live cells 62–70% > 50%   Viable 9 ml 9 ml/h 100% (17/17)
MACS [51] Miltenyi Biotech EpCAM Pos/neg enrichment; high surface area to volume; difficult to use with whole blood     Viable    
IMS [52]   EpCAM Low background leukocytes (not tested on clinical samples) 84–100%    Mostly viable    
Strep-tag [53] Wuhan University EpCAM, HER2, EGFR Uses antibodies simultaneously; low sample volume 79% N/A 70% 85% 1 ml N/A 100% (17/17)
Microfluidic positive immunocapture HTMSU [54,55,56]   EpCAM Single-step separation; low volumes of blood; conductivity-based enumeration   100% 96% 80% 1 ml 1–2 ml/h No clinical trial
CTC-Chip [57]   EpCAM Micro vortex increases the efficiency; various CTC-specific antigens can be used 65% 52–67% > 60% Viable 2.7 ml (average) 1–2 ml/h 99% (115/116)
GEDI chip [58]   PSMA/HER2 (+ size selection) Functional assays in situ; size and collision inclination dependency 85% 68%   Viable 1 ml   
Microfluidic immunocapture + nanomaterials GO chip [59,60,61]   EpCAM Graphene oxide nanosheets; easy fabrication; high purity 84–95% High 91–95% 92% 1 ml 1–3 ml/h 67–100% (2/3, 8/10, and 20/20)
Microfluidic SiNP platform [62]   EpCAM Antibody-coated silicone nanopillars for capture enhancement; 1.5–3.0-psi pressure    > 95%   1 ml 1 ml/h 77% (20/26)
NP-HBCTC-Chip [63]   EpCAM, HER2, EGFR, or cocktail Antibody-coated gold nanoparticles for capture enhancement > 90%   91–92% 87–93% 3.5 ml 1 ml/h 100% (4/4)
Negative immunomagnetic enrichment EasySep [64] StemCell CD45 Easy-to-use batch separation; high background 79% 42%    0.5–2 ml 1–4 ml/h No clinical trial
  1. aIncluded for reference purpose