Development of a Fiber Optical Cell Collector and Sensor (FOCCS)
With our innovative Fiber Optical Cell Collector and Sensor (FOCCS) we will provide an innovative method for the early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases. For this purpose the optical fiber is coated with antibodies (AB) that bind and collect Circulating Endothelial Cells (CEC) directly from the blood vessel of the patient. In this way we can isolate these rare CEC from the blood and analyze the concentration by fiber optical detection. The isolated CEC will be labeled with antibody-dye-complexes; the intensity of the fluorescence of the dye can be used as a determination of the quantity of the CEC. The FOCCS has to be mechanically stable, the surface should be repellent to blood components and the fiber should be transparent within the spectral range between 400 nm to 900 nm. We identified CYTOP® or PMMA as the best-matching available plastic optical fiber materials regarding these requirements. One of the challenges to get an evaluable signal from the colored cells is the process of the backscattering of the dye fluorescence into the optical fiber.