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Johnson Cancer Research Center

Dr. Vikas Berry

Department: Chemical Engineering

Circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection and capturing procedures are being studied in our laboratory in collaboration with Harvard Medical School. Graphene, a single-atom-thick nanomaterial, is being applied as an ultrasensitive biosensor-material for selective detection of CTCs in blood samples. To achieve high specificity, graphene is functionalized with cell adhesion molecules (CAMs). We have pioneered the detection techniques for a low density of molecules and single biological cells using functionalized graphene sensors. The high specificity and ultrahigh sensitivity of graphene originates from its large area (several hundred microns), surface-sensitive conductivity, high flexibility, functionalizability, and high strength. Its facile functionalizability enables a stable binding with the cells both for capture and electrical detection. These sensors are aimed to achieve early cancer diagnosis via blood analysis.