Sunitha Nagrath, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2021
For pioneering work on microfluidic technologies for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) isolation and genotyping leading novel cancer treatments.

Breast Cancer’s Spread Accelerates During Sleep

Via Medpage Today | June 28, 2022

Breast cancer metastases spread far more efficiently during sleep, according to a Swiss study.

While it has been assumed that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are constantly shedding from growing tumors, or as a result of mechanical insults, there’s a “striking and unexpected pattern of CTC generation dynamics in both patients with breast cancer and mouse models, highlighting that most spontaneous CTC intravasation events occur during sleep,” wrote Nicola Aceto, PhD, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and colleagues.

Furthermore, CTCs are more prone to metastasize during a body’s resting phase, while those generated during a body’s active phase are not, they noted in Nature… Continue reading.


Can a blood test help diagnose skin cancer?

Via EurekAlert | April 20, 2022

New research in Advanced NanoBiomed Research indicates that testing an individual’s blood can reveal the presence of circulating melanoma cells. Such tests may allow patients to forego invasive skin biopsies to determine whether they have skin cancer.

The test uses what’s called the Melanoma-specific OncoBean platform conjugated with melanoma-specific antibodies. Investigators at the University of Michigan showed that the test can be used not only to diagnose melanoma but also to evaluate whether all cancer cells have been successfully removed after skin cancer surgery… Continue reading.


Dr. Sunitha Nagrath to be inducted into medical and biological engineering elite

Via AIMBE | February 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the election of Sunitha Nagrath, Ph.D., to its College of Fellows. Dr. Nagrath was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for pioneering work on microfluidic technologies for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) isolation and genotyping leading novel cancer treatments.

The College of Fellows is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. The most accomplished and distinguished engineering and medical school chairs, research directors, professors, innovators, and successful entrepreneurs comprise the College of Fellows. AIMBE Fellows are regularly recognized for their contributions in teaching, research, and innovation. AIMBE Fellows have been awarded the Nobel Prize, the Presidential Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Technology and Innovation and many also are members of the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Sciences… Continue reading.


Scientists “Farm” Natural Killer Cells Using a Microfluidic Chip in Novel Cancer Fighting Approach

Via Scitech Daily | January 28, 2021

Engineers and oncologists teamed to develop a microfluidic chip capable of capturing the body’s natural killer immune cells to harvest their cancer-killing exosomes.

Building on the promise of emerging therapies to deploy the body’s “natural killer” immune cells to fight cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center and U-M College of Engineering have gone one step further.

They’ve developed what is believed to be the first systematic way to catch natural killer cells and get them to release cancer-killing packets called exosomes. These nano-scale exosomes are thousands of times smaller than natural killer cells — or NK cells for short — and thus better able to penetrate cancer cells’ defenses… Continue reading.