Cancer is the most serious disease worldwide, and ovarian cancer (OvCa) is the second most common type of gynecological cancer. There is consequently an urgent need for early-stage detection of OvCa, which requires affinity reagent biomarkers for OvCa. Systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) and phage display technology are two powerful technologies for identifying affinity reagent biomarkers. However, the benchtop protocols for both screening technologies are relatively lengthy and require well-trained personnel. We therefore developed a novel, integrated microfluidic system capable of automating SELEX and phage display technology. Instead of using cancer cell lines, it is the first work which used tissue slides as screening targets, which possess more complicated and uncovered information for affinity reagents to recognize. This allowed for the identification of aptamer (nucleic acid) and peptide probes specific to OvCa cells and tissues. Furthermore, this developed system could be readily modified to uncover affinity reagents for diagnostics or even target therapy of other cancer cell types in the future.
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