Rangos School of Health Sciences
melanoma, photoacoustic flow cytometry, circulating tumor cells, metastatic detection
Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer known for developing into metastatic disease. Current clinical diagnostics, including medical imaging and tissue biopsy, provide a poor prognosis since the cancer is in the late stages of disease progression. In recent years, photoacoustic flow cytometry has allowed for the detection of circulating melanoma cells within patient blood samples in vitro. Although this method exploits the naturally-produced melanin within the cells, it has only successfully detected highly-pigmented melanoma cell lines. Since various forms of melanoma exist, each with varying melanin concentrations, this research aims to provide a novel method for detecting lightly-pigmented circulating melanoma cells in a patient’s blood sample. We achieved this by coating black dyed microspheres with monoclonal Anti-Melan-A antibodies, a melanocyte differentiation antigen-specific to melanoma cells. Labeling the melanoma cells with darkly-pigmented microspheres primes them for detection using the same photoacoustic flowmetry principles as highly-pigmented cells. Ultimately, enhancing the detection of lightly-pigmented melanoma cell lines will provide a gateway towards applying this technique to circulating tumor cells with a range of pigmentation within patient blood samples.
Kocsis, T. (2022). Labeling Melanoma Cells With Black Microspheres For Improved Sensitivity In Detection Via Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2086