Dr. Ali Asgar Bhagat


Chief Operating Officer, Clearbridge, Singapore

Dr. Ali Asgar Bhagat is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Clearbridge Biomedics and the inventor of the ‘Dean Flow Fractionation’ cell separation concept. He leads the design and development of their microfluidics products and is an inventor on numerous granted patents and author of over 30 peer-reviewed scientific publications.  Ali’s interests lie in developing technologies and products, building teams, and taking a concept from prototype to commercial launch.

Ali received his MS (2006) and PhD (2009) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati, USA. Following his degree, he held Associate Scientist position at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Before joining Clearbridge, Ali worked as a Research Scientist in the newly formed Biosystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) group at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre, Singapore.

Presentation Title: Automated label-free circulating tumor cell enrichment with ClearCell® FX

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) dissociate from primary tumor into the bloodstream, and carry with them cancer’s fingerprints as well as the potential to turn aggressive and metastasize. In order to understand CTCs and develop clinical utility, different methods of enrichment and isolation of CTCs can be used. In this talk, i will introduce the use of a label-free platform, ClearCell® FX which isolates CTCs by their mechanical features and its advantages. The technology utilizes Dean Flow Fractionation (DFF) principle in a simple, elegant spiral microfluidics system to separate the larger CTCs from smaller blood cells. The gentle and fast workflow allows for a range of downstream assays to be performed on the intact CTCs, particularly studies that examine an epithelial cell adhesion molecular (EpCAM)-independent population. Viable, intact cells are also retrievable for development of culture or in vivo models.