Rapid bladder cancer cell detection from clinical urine samples using an ultra-thin silicone membrane

Jennie H. Appel, Hao Ren, Mandy L Y Sin, Joseph C. Liao, Junseok Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Early detection of initial onset, as well as recurrence, of cancer is paramount for improved patient prognosis and human health. Cancer screening is enhanced by rapid differentiation of cancerous from non-cancerous cells which employs the inherent differences in biophysical properties. Our preliminary testing demonstrates that cell-line derived bladder cancer cells deform our <30 nm silicone membrane within an hour and induce visually distinct wrinkle patterns while cell-line derived non-cancerous cells fail to induce these wrinkle patterns. Herein, we report a platform for the rapid detection of cancerous cells from human clinical urine samples. We performed a blinded study with cells extracted from the urine of human patients suspected to have bladder cancer alongside healthy controls. Wrinkle patterns were induced specifically by the five cancer patient samples within 12 hours and not by the healthy controls. These results were independently validated by the standard diagnostic techniques cystoscopy and cytology. Thus, our ultra-thin membrane approach for cancer diagnosis appears as accurate as standard diagnostic methods while vastly more rapid, less invasive, and requiring limited expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-660
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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