Second-generation liquid biopsy instrument for the automated enrichment of circulating tumour cells  


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death and illness worldwide – with 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012 alone. The number of new cases is expected to increase to 22 million by 2032. Liquid biopsy is set to disrupt cancer care – with faster screening, more accurate treatment and more frequent monitoring.

So, we joined forces with Singapore-based Clearbridge BioMedics to develop a new way of tackling the disease. The second-generation ClearCellTM System is a novel tool for liquid biopsies – and it has the potential to reshape the way cancer is diagnosed and managed. 


We had to find a way for the second-generation system to retrieve and detect tumour cells even faster – and potentially more accurately – from a simple blood sample. On top of this, we needed to ensure the cells were structurally intact and fully functional at the end of this process.

To achieve both goals, we came up with a clever way of precisely controlling the fluids in the system. Coupled with an intuitive user interface and system design, this made workflows more efficient. 


The new ClearCellTM System detects circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in the bloodstream that have detached from a patient’s primary tumour – even at concentrations of as low as one in a billion blood cells.

Early detection of these CTCs can increase patients’ chances of survival – and tracking the cell count over time could help ensure treatment is more effective.