Cervical cancer is second to breast cancer as the most common form of malignancy in both incidence and mortality for women worldwide. The pap smear test and liquid-based cytology have been adopted as population-wide cervical cancer screening programs in the U.S.and other developed countries. In the US, this screening program has led to a remarkable reduction in the incidence and mortality rate of cervical cancer, from 26,000 in 1941 to 4,600 in 2000. However, the current method of cervical cancer screening is still subjective and labor intensive in the detection of abnormal cells from large number of normal cells. This application proposes a new approach of involving specific biomarkers and high throughput flow cytometry for the detection of rare abnormal cells. Abnormal cells will be captured and separated from normal cells using flow sorting and based on their expression levels of precancerous biomarkers. The development of this technology could lead to a high throughput, biomarker driven clinical device for routine cervical cancer screening in the future.
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