What is Liquid Biopsy?  

    Cancer detection and monitoring method

    Liquid Biopsy, also known as fluid biopsy, is a significant branch of in vitro diagnosis that is primarily based on blood or other body fluid for disease analysis and monitoring, such as cancer. With a simple blood draw, circulating tumor biomarkers in the blood sample provide information on tumor progression and treatment efficacy, and guiding personalized precision medication direction. Compared with traditional tissue biopsy, liquid biopsy has provided additional benefits of real-time monitoring, avoid unrepresentative sampling in heterogenous tumor, and provides comprehensive clinical information.

    Liquid Biopsy is a branch of in vitro diagnostics that analyses and diagnoses diseases such as cancer through the use of body liquids like blood or urine. It was rated as one of the “Breakthrough Technologies 2015” by MIT Technology Review.

    Compared to traditional tissue biopsy, liquid biopsy is equipped with unique advantages like real-time monitoring, ability to overcome tumor heterogeneity, and comprehensive diagnostic information. Currently, in clinical researches, liquid biosy mainly includes tests for CTC (Circulating Tumor Cell), ctDNA (Circulating Tumor DNA), exosomes, and Circulating miRNA etc. In comparison to traditional methods like observation of clinical symptoms or diagnostic imaging, using liquid biopsy can predict the risk of cancer earlier, enabling “Early discovery, early screening, early treatment”.

What is Circulating miRNA?

microRNAs or miRNAs are small RNA molecules that are non-coding and have important effects on gene expression, often inhibitory.  By binding to mRNAs in the cells, the microRNAs inhibit DNA functioning, thus affecting important life functions in a cell. In many cancer types, miRNAs production is upregulated, converting an ordinary cell into a cancerous one. Additionally, these miRNAs can be transported outside the cell, in the tumour environment, in sacs/vesicles called 'exosomes'. The presence of a high number of exosomal miRNAs has been associated with the spread of certain types of cancer in the body. Isolation and detection of miRNAs from a patient’s blood can help in early cancer diagnosis, without the need for invasive surgeries.

What is Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC)?

Circulating tumor cell (CTCs) are the cancer cells that have detached from the primary tumor or metastatic tumor into circulatory system during tumor progression or metastases. CTC provides comprehensive information of cancer in cellular, genetics and protein levels. Hence, CTC detection is an effective tool for earlier detection, evaluation of therapeutic efficacy, individual precision medicine selection, drug resistance detection, earlier tumor recurrence evaluation and real-time monitoring of cancer.

How can we detect CTCs in blood?

Cellomics CTC detection Platform - New generation of CTC viable Cell Sorting.

The CTC detection platform has employed the leading microfluidic chip technology that select CTCs extensively by cell size, cell shape and multiple surface biomarkers. This technology has combined the physical, chemical and biological properties of CTCs to uphold the high sensitivity, high specificity and high accuracy of CTC detection.



Early Screening and Precision Monitoring of Cancer

 Microfluidic CTC Capture Technology 

Current industry challenges: 

  • Cancer patients have very few CTCs in the blood (10-100/ml), while the number of blood cells is very large (109/ml). Identified by physical properties of the CTC is lacking of precision, and the use of only EpCAM or Folic Acid Receptor antigens for cancer cell identification has many problems, since not all CTCs have the same surface biomarker.

Our solution: 

  • Cellomics's microfluidic CTC capture technology combines the physical and biological properties of CTCs to further improve capture efficiency and sensitivity, which utilizes novel microfluidic structures and broad-spectrum cancer cell surface biomarker for enrichment and characterization of CTCs. It provides convenient operating conditions for single-cell analysis like gene mutation detection, whole-genome sequencing, and subsequent in vitro culture and drug sensitivity assessment.

 Microfluidic ddPCR Technology  

Current industry challenges: 


  • The detection of ctDNA/microRNAs by liquid biopsy requires high sensitivity technologies such as digital PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS). Digital PCR is an absolute quantitative method for nucleic acid molecules, which is suitable for the detection of target mutations at 1% sensitivity. However, the sensitivity for liquid biopsy requires about 0.01% for early screening of tumors. Therefore, more sensitive digital PCR systems with greater dynamic range and specificity are needed.



Our solution: 


  • Cellomics microfluidic digital PCR technology, integrating microdroplet technology and fluorescent PCR, can produce 80,000 homogeneous droplets in the chip to achieve single-copy molecular detection with more accurate and digital signal. It can detect ctDNA/microRNAs for liquid biopsy and is suitable for early screening, drug resistance detection and therapeutic effect monitoring.



Digital PCR Chip Feature:

  • Data points as high as 100,000: high confidence, conducive to rare mutation detection, dynamic range as high as 10 ^ 6;
  • Independent patented technology, chip cost is lower;
  • High throughput: up to 5 fluorescence detection channels;
  • Easy to operate: in-situ generation, in-situ reaction; in-situ reading of data

BoosterTM PCR Reaction System

  • Special amplification promoter, amplification efficiency can be as high as 95-100%.Improve the signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity and accuracy of PCR reaction

AimplifyTM Single Base Detection Technology

  • Lock Nucleic Acid (LNA) and Allele Specific Amplification (ASA)LNA decreases the flexibility of ribose structure, increases the stability of DNA structure, regulates the reaction of PCR and enhances the sequence specificity.ASA increases the specificity and sensitivity of detection reagents

 Tumor microRNA analysis technology 

Current industry challenges: 

  • In lung cancer, breast cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer and liver cancer and other common cancers, the expression of specific serum microRNAs can be used for disease screening, diagnosis, prognosis, recurrence risk prediction, drug sensitivity prediction and efficacy tracking. However, the specificity, sensitivity and positive rate of using a single microRNA molecule as a marker to assist clinical decision-making are still unsatisfactory.

Our solution: 

  • Cellomics cooperates with the top international research team to analyze the high-throughput microRNA expression profile data of multi-center and large sample, and develops high-sensitivity and high-specificity microRNA panel markers. Through machine learning algorithm and statistical model scoring mechanism, the miRNA panels can be used for early screening, prognosis, lymph node metastasis risk prediction, recurrence risk prediction, and medication guidance.

Tumor microRNA analysis technology: Performance and Product Pipeline

  • Dr. Wang Xin is a co-founder and scientific advisor of Cellomics; Prof. Ajay Goel (previously Baylor, now in City of Hope) will join the scientific advisory board.
  • Initiation of large-scale clinical studies for early screening of ovarian cancer with West China Hospital, for early screening of colorectal cancer with Peking Union Medical College Hospital and The 6th Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University.

 Core Patents 

Licensed Patents:

  • "A Microfluidic Microbead Array Chip and Its Application in Virus Analysis" ZL200910188832.X
  • "Fluorescent PCR Method for Diagnosis of Chlamydia Trachomatis, Neisseria Gonorrhoeae and Ureaplasma Urealyticum Infection" ZL200910164977.6

Patent applications filed:

  • Application No. 201811388848 for Microfluidic Chips and Cell Screening Methods
  • Application No. 201811388847 for Surface Modification of PDMS Substrates and Microfluidic Devices

Patents to be filed:

A: A Microfluidic Device for Capturing Circulating Tumor Cells Using Physical Space Structure

  • Cancer cell capture efficiency more than 98% from blood samples.
  • Multiple repetitive arrays of cell capture units of different height specifications within a spatial structure
  • Captures single cells and cell clusters in one chip.
  • High capture rate and high sensitivity, which can be used for subsequent recovery and re-study of specific cells
  • Cells captured by this structure can be directly used for subsequent fluorescence staining studies.

B: A Smooth Microfluidic Chip for Whole Blood Control

  • PDMS surface treatment.
  • The chip is mainly used in the control and storage of blood.
  • The chip can be combined with extended microfluidic valve technology
  • The remarkable anti-fouling capability enables chips using this technology to process whole blood.
  • Integration of various chip technologies and functions.

C: A Microporous Matrix Chip for Single Cell Tumor Formation and Drug Screening

  • Microporous arrays with uniform size
  • There are more microporous arrays per unit area on the surface of microfluidic chips
  • Small interval between micropores facilitates drug diffusion and cell-to-cell communication
  • Applied in single cell culture and tumorigenicity, multi-cell culture and tumorigenicity
  • Application of the microporous matrix chip in cancer cell drug screening

D: A chip for screening and enriching exosomes in body fluids

  • Capture red blood cells, white blood cells and cancer cells from the blood
  • Direct separation and enrichment of exosomes from body fluids, including blood
  • Enrichment of 40-100 nm exosomes
  • Recycling circulating tumor cells from blood at the same time

E: A Primer and Probe Design Method for Hairpin Amplification Blocking Method for Gene Mutation Detection and Its Application

  • Wild Blocking Probe for Anti-Polymerase Decomposition
  • Increase the identification of non-specific elongation products with wild-type blocking probes
  • Blocking the binding of primers to non-specific wild-type extension products
  • It does not affect the binding of primers to mutant elongation products.
  • Systematic suppression of wild type sequences and selective amplification of mutant sequences

Other Patents to be filed

  1. A Microfluidic Device for Single Cell Fixation
  2. A Microfluidic Chip Device for Single Cell Separation Using Valve Technology
  3. A Microporous Array Chip for Digital PCR
  4. A New Microfluidic Chip Device for the Study of Cancer Cell Migration
  5. A CTC Separation Microfluidic Chip Device Combining Inertial Focusing and Negative Screening
  6. A Microfluidic Chip Device for Super High Speed Droplet Generation
  7. A High-throughput Droplet Generation Microfluidic Chip Device
  8. A Dean Stream Enhanced Inertial Focus CTC Screening Microfluidic Chip Device
  9. A Stepwise Enhanced Inertial Focus CTC Screening Microfluidic Chip Device



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