Epithelial ovarian carcinomas are the fourth leading cause of death in women in the United States among all cancers and the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancies1. The main reason for this high rate of mortality is the inability to properly detect these carcinomas early. Investigations for diagnosing ovarian cancer in early stages have been hindered by two major obstacles: lack of adequate cell models to study different cancer stages and lack of a reliable technique to isolate these cancer cells from peritoneal fluid. In trying to solve the first challenge, Dr. Schmelz and collaborators presented a transformed mouse ovarian surface epithelial (MOSE) cell model by isolating different transitional stages of ovarian cancer as cells progressed from a premalignant nontumorigenic phenotype to a highly aggressive malignant phenotype2, 3. In this model four stages of transformed cells, namely early (MOSE-E), early-intermediate (MOSE-E/I), intermediate (MOSE-I) and late (MOSE-L) cells, were distinguishable3. In the current study, we attempt to solve the second challenge of isolating cancer cells from macrophages and fibroblasts, which are found in the peritoneal fluid. Based on differences in cells’ intrinsic electrical properties, a new cell manipulation technique, contactless dielectrophoresis (cDEP), was implemented.

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