Cancer Catcher - Early Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells


This technology offers early cancer detection for patients, tracking cancer metastasis, cancer relapse, and giving prognostic information by making use of our patented nanoparticles for circulating tumour cells (CTCs) catching.

  • Cancer Catcher - Early Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells
Commercialisation opportunities
technology licensing agreement
Problem addressed

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cancer cells shed from primary tumours into the bloodstream. They can be considered as an indicator of the presence of tumours during early cancer stage. However, the blood-based or liquid biopsy detection of cancer are challenging due to the heterogeneity and small size of CTCs. This technology provides an easy and accurate means of detection.

  • This unique technology captures most of CTCs, isolating different CTCs without relying on cancer markers expression. Identification and quantification of CTCs can also be achieved.
  • By combining this technology with the current commercially available CTC detection kit, the sensitivity of cancer detection could be significantly improved.
Key impact
  • This technology enables surgeons to identify the cancer cells location precisely and navigate the whole isolation process in real-time under magnetic manipulation.
  • Early cancer screening using this technology can be introduced into routine body check-ups. In particular for the individuals with a family history of cancer.
  • It is a non-invasive and fast way for early cancer detection, which can be incorporated into routine clinical practice. Detecting cancer early can effectively reduce the mortality associated with cancer. Cancer diagnosed at a late-stage may result in lower survival, potentially greater morbidity and higher costs of treatment.
  • For early cancer screening
  • It can be used with other cancer detecting tools (e.g. iFISH) to improve the sensitivity and specificity of detection.
  • It could make a valuable contribution to early cancer diagnosis, monitoring cancer status and relapse, and treatment efficiency evaluation.


  • US Patent No. 10,383,959
Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU)

Aspiring to be a leading, research-led, liberal arts University in Asia, Hong Kong Baptist University is committed to conducting world-leading investigations that extends the frontiers of knowledge, tackles global challenges and benefits the community at home and abroad. 

Pursuing research excellence is one of the priorities of the University’s Institutional Strategic Plan 2018-2028. The University keeps enhancing its capacity and strength to produce world-class research with an aim to bring significant impact to the society.