Frequently asked questions

On this page you can find some of frequently asked questions.

How does CytoTrack differ from other CTC technologies?

The most common CTC technologies are based on either size filtration or magnetic pre-enrichment. Each of those approaches runs the risk of loosing CTCs. By contrast, the CytoTrack technology does not include pre-enrichment but analyses all nucleated cells in the blood sample due to its immense capacity.


Does the CytoTrack technology detect EpCAM negative CTCs?

Yes, the CytoTrack technology detects CTCs independently of EpCAM expression.

If you are interested in detecting EpCAM expression of each individual cell, the CytoTrack Reagent Kit B includes additional antibodies for determination of EpCAM expression and thus provides characterization of individual CTC with respect to EpCAM expression.


Can I use my own CTC markers (my own assay)?

Yes, some customers prefer to develop their own assays and to use special types of markers. CytoTrack is an open platform and customers are free to do their own experiments. This is similar to using a flow cytometer.


How difficult is it to do downstream characterization?

One of the major advantages of CytoTrack is that you can select specific cells you want to characterize, directly after the enumeration step. The exact position of each target cell on the CytoDisc™ is stored in the system (CTC Map). You can either select cells for on-disc characterization (IF or FISH), or select cells for off-disc characterization (single cell PCR or Sequencing). The disc can easely be removed from the scanner, and reentered after preparation, so all cells can be easely revisited and imaged.


Can I lift off selected cells from the disc?

Yes, this can be done with the new CT11™ with the CytoPicker™. The CytoPicker™ allows the operator to lift off selected target cells from the CytoDisc™. The cells can be placed on a microscope slide (with grid) or put into a tube. Cells are lifted from the disc as intact cells, and they are completely separated from the white blood cells. 


Is it possible to lease a CytoTrack system?

Yes, some customers prefer to lease a system. We can offer a leasing contract, normally for a minimum of six months.


Is there a local distributor near me?

CytoTrack is currently establishing a network of distributors worldwide. Please see our current list of distributors. If you don't have a distributor near you, please contact us directly, and we will find a solution for you.


Can I get a demonstration of CytoTrack?

We can offer an on-line virtual demonstration. We usually schedule a teleconference which includes a presentation and a live demonstration. You are also welcome to send samples in advance, so we can demonstrate CytoTrack using your own samples.


How difficult is it to use the CytoTrack system?

CytoTrack is a high-tech instrument, but it is still easy to use. When we deliver a new system, we offer a one day training course. After a few hours, you and your team members will be able to use the instrument. We also offer a hot-line service, which you can call if you have anyqueries or problems using the scanner.


How much do we know about the phenomenon of CTC?

In our view, the world of CTC research is still undeveloped. There are many important questions that are not yet answered. For example, we often find CTCs in clusters, a few CTCs (3-10 cells) can stick together while circulating in the blood. Perhaps the one cell in the middle, protected by the others, is the one that will actually start to grow as a metastasis at a later stage. This is something which has not yet been researched. We hope our technology can assist researchers to understand and answer such important questions.


Can CytoTrack be used for other applications than CTC?

Yes, CytoTrack is a general purpose instrument. It can be used for all applications where you want to detect rare events in a biological mass (Rare Event Detection, RED). Other applications, such as FCMB (Foetal Cell in Mother Blood) and infectious diseases, are obvious uses. We encourage the use of the instrument in other fields of research.


Is CytoTrack interested in collaboration with my research lab?

Yes, today we are collaborating with a number of research labs nationally and internationally. We will be happy to consider working with you on your approach to CTC detection or other applications. Please contact us with your suggestions.


How can I get started?

Please contact your local agent or contact us directly. You can either purchase or lease an instrument. You will need to purchase discs and disc covers; one per sample. For reagents you can choose from our range of different reagent kits, or you can prepare your own kits. The preparation of the blood and the staining is performed using common laboratory equipment.


Can CytoTrack test samples for me?

If you do not want to purchase the system, you are welcome to use our lab service at Hillerød Hospital. CytoTrack has entered a joint venture with this hospital in order to provide this routine based service to customers. Samples can be sent to us by courier, and will be processed within 96 hours. You will receive a report with images of selected CTCs and the enumeration result. Please do not send samples before contacting us first.


How large can the sample size be?

You can easily use sample sizes of up to 10 ml using one disc. If you need to process larger samples sizes, please contact us for advice.


Can I store the sample - establish a biobank?

Yes, the CTC Enumeration protocol includes procedure for long term storage of samples prior to CTC enumeration. In addition, the CytoDisc™ may (dependent on the stability of the biomarker) be kept after CTC enumeration for later characterization.


Are there any scientific publications?

CytoTrack technology is currently being evaluated in a number of international studies and is also being used in clinical studies. Please see our publications list, or contact us with any specific interests you may have.


What is the lead time for delivery of a scanner?

The lead time is normally 3 months.