Journal article

Microfluidics-assisted fluorescence in situ hybridization for advantageous human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 assessment in breast cancer

Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is one of the recommended techniques for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status assessment on cancer tissues. Here we develop microfluidics-assisted FISH (MA-FISH), in which hybridization of the FISH probes with their target DNA strands is obtained by applying square-wave oscillatory flows of diluted probe solutions in a thin microfluidic chamber of 5 mu l volume. By optimizing the experimental parameters, MA-FISH decreases the consumption of the expensive probe solution by a factor 5 with respect to the standard technique, and reduces the hybridization time to 4 h, which is four times faster than in the standard protocol. To validate the method, we blindly conducted HER2 MA-FISH on 51 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue slides of 17 breast cancer samples, and compared the results with standard HER2 FISH testing. HER2 status classification was determined according to published guidelines, based on average number of HER2 copies per cell and average HER2/CEP17 ratio. Excellent agreement was observed between the two methods, supporting the validity of MA-FISH and further promoting its short hybridization time and reduced reagent consumption.


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