Nano Research

Article Title

Aptamer-conjugated upconversion nanoprobes assisted by magnetic separation for effective isolation and sensitive detection of circulating tumor cells


circulating tumar cell (CTC) detection, upconversion nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles, aptamer


Detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) plays an important role in cancer diagnosis and prognosis. In this study, aptamer-conjugated upconversion nano- particles (UCNPs) are used for the first time as nanoprobes to recognize tumor cells, which are then enriched by attaching with magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) and placing in the presence of a magnetic field. Owing to the autofluorescence- free nature of upconversion luminescence imaging, as well as the use of magnetic separation to further reduce background signals, our technique allows for highly sensitive detection and collection of small numbers of tumor cells spiked into healthy blood samples, and shows promise for CTC detection in medical diagnostics.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press