A. Fatih Sarioglu, Ph.D.


Isolation of Circulating Tumor Cells using Microfluidics


Cancer is the result of a cascade of multi-scale events originating from anomalies at the cellular and molecular level. As such, analysis at the cellular and molecular level offers exciting opportunities for detecting cancer while it is still manageable and for gaining biological insight to develop effective therapies. Well matched in size, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are ideally suited for this purpose and they offer unique capabilities from highly localized and deterministic sample manipulation to precise quantitative measurements.  Leveraging these capabilities, biomedical microsystems hold great promise to revolutionize the way we research, detect and treat cancer.

In my talk, I will introduce a microfluidic chip technology to specifically isolate circulating tumor cell-clusters (CTC-clusters), a highly metastatic precursor population within CTCs, from unprocessed patient blood. This device enables non-destructive, antigen-independent isolation of CTC-clusters with high sensitivity and purity as well as viable retrieval of CTC-clusters in solution (off the chip) allowing downstream molecular assays. I will describe the design and operation of the device and share results from clinical studies on patients with metastatic melanoma, breast and prostate cancers.


A. Fatih Sarioglu received the B.Sc. degree from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in 2005 and 2010, respectively, all in electrical engineering. He worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering, Stanford University and later as a research fellow in the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. In October 2014, he joined the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor.

His research interests are in developing Nano- and Micro-systems technologies for biomedical applications such as cancer detection, cellular and biomolecular analysis, point-of-care diagnostics and minimally invasive health monitoring.

Sarioglu Profile