Microfluidic tools for disease detection
The phenotype and genetic characteristics of rare disease cells in liquid biopsy can provide important disease detection and treatment information. Therefore, further research in this field is of great significance. We have established label-free microfluidic technologies based on inertial focusing with hydrodynamic forces in curved microchannels to isolate viable diseased cells based on size. This technology allows us to achieve a cell recovery rate of ≥85% and a white cell removal rate of 99.99% from whole blood in cancer applications. The technology has also been validated in other applications, including leukemia, malaria, and bladder cancer. This technology can be produced cost-effectively by standard micromachining and soft lithography (2-3 days) and is operated using a syringe pump. The fast-processing time (7.5 ml in 12.5 minutes for three-layer multiple devices) and the ability to collect and concentrate rare diseased cells from a large number of patients' liquid biopsies makes this technology suitable for a wide range of potential genome and transcriptome experiments to applications.
Khoo Bee Luan is a biomedical scientist focused on detecting, prognosis, and characterization of disease heterogeneity using multidisciplinary techniques. She joined the City University of Hong Kong in 2019. She is recognized for her efforts by the MIT Technology Review as an Innovator under 35 (Asia 2018) for her work on microfluidic devices with direct clinical relevance. Dr. Khoo's work includes the design and utilization of microfluidic devices for personalized cancer management and evaluation. She has also developed various microfluidic biochips for the direct isolation of primary cancer cells, diseased blood cells, or malaria-infected cells for rapid disease detection. Dr. Khoo has authored more than 30 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has presented in various invited international conferences. As a senior postdoctoral research fellow in the Singapore MIT alliance of Research and Technology, she was awarded the Young Investigator national grant award by the National Medical Research Council. Dr. Khoo recently received the Young Investigator award 2020 to support upcoming projects in disease detection via the Interstellar Initiative, funded by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) and the New York Academy of Sciences.