An integrated microfluidic system capable of automatically identifying aptamers specific to cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cells was developed herein. The developed system was capable of performing cell-based systematic evolution of ligands via an exponential enrichment (Cell-SELEX) process on-chip, and only six rounds of Cell-SELEX were required to identify high specificity aptamers; this represents a significant improvement in speed over conventional SELEX, in which 15–20 rounds are typically required. Using the microfluidic chip developed, three aptamers specific to CCA cells (one for SNU-478 cells and two for HuCCT-1 cells) were successfully screened. This automated system could be modified to uncover aptamer probes against other cancer cells, thereby allowing for earlier diagnosis and consequently a potentially improved prognosis.

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