Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis targeting fetal nucleated red blood cells

Yanyu Chen, Zhuhao Wu, Joseph Sutlive, Ke Wu, Lu Mao, Jiabao Nie, Xing Zhong Zhao, Feng Guo, Zi Chen, Qinqin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) aims to detect fetal-related genetic disorders before birth by detecting markers in the peripheral blood of pregnant women, holding the potential in reducing the risk of fetal birth defects. Fetal-nucleated red blood cells (fNRBCs) can be used as biomarkers for NIPD, given their remarkable nature of carrying the entire genetic information of the fetus. Here, we review recent advances in NIPD technologies based on the isolation and analysis of fNRBCs. Conventional cell separation methods rely primarily on physical properties and surface antigens of fNRBCs, such as density gradient centrifugation, fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and magnetic-activated cell sorting. Due to the limitations of sensitivity and purity in Conventional methods, separation techniques based on micro-/nanomaterials have been developed as novel methods for isolating and enriching fNRBCs. We also discuss emerging methods based on microfluidic chips and nanostructured substrates for static and dynamic isolation of fNRBCs. Additionally, we introduce the identification techniques of fNRBCs and address the potential clinical diagnostic values of fNRBCs. Finally, we highlight the challenges and the future directions of fNRBCs as treatment guidelines in NIPD. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number546
JournalJournal of Nanobiotechnology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biosensing
  • Fetal-nucleated red blood cells
  • Microfluidics
  • Microtechnology
  • Noninvasive prenatal diagnosis


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