Toward Intraoperative Detection of Disseminated Tumor Cells in Lymph Nodes with Silicon Nanowire Field Effect Transistors

Duy P. Tran, Marnie A. Winter, Bernhard Wolfrum, Regina Stockmann, Chih Tsung Yang, Mohammad Pourhassan-Moghaddam, Andreas Offenhaüsser, Benjamin Thierry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Within an hour, as little as one disseminated tumor cell (DTC) per lymph node can be quantitatively detected using an intraoperative biosensing platform based on silicon nanowire field-effect transistors (SiNW FET). It is also demonstrated that the integrated biosensing platform is able to detect the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of colorectal cancer patients. The presence of DTCs in lymph nodes and CTCs in peripheral blood is highly significant as it is strongly associated with poor patient prognosis. The SiNW FET sensing platform out-performed in both sensitivity and rapidity not only the current standard method based on pathological examination of tissue sections but also the emerging clinical gold standard based on molecular assays. The possibility to achieve accurate and highly sensitive analysis of the presence of DTCs in the lymphatics within the surgery time frame has the potential to spare cancer patients from an unnecessary secondary surgery, leading to reduced patient morbidity, improving their psychological wellbeing and reducing time spent in hospital. This study demonstrates the potential of nanoscale field-effect technology in clinical cancer diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2357-2364
Number of pages8
JournalACS Nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CMOS
  • diagnostic
  • integrated biosensor
  • intraoperative detection
  • lymph node metastasis
  • multichannel detection
  • nano fabrication
  • silicon nanowire on a chip


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