With ability to analyze minuscule amounts of fluid, Rutgers breakthrough could also promote central nervous system and joint research
Rutgers engineers have developed a breakthrough device that can significantly reduce the cost of sophisticated lab tests for medical disorders and diseases, such as HIV, Lyme disease and syphilis.
The new device uses miniaturized channels and valves to replace "benchtop" assays - tests that require large samples of blood or other fluids and expensive chemicals that lab technicians manually mix in trays of tubes or plastic plates with cup-like depressions.
"The main advantage is cost - these assays are done in labs and clinics everywhere," said Mehdi Ghodbane, who earned his doctorate in biomedical engineering at Rutgers and now works in biopharmaceutical research and development at GlaxoSmithKline.
Ghodbane and six Rutgers researchers recently published their results in the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal, Lab on a Chip.
The lab-on-chip device, which employs microfluidics technology, along with making tests more affordable for patients and researchers, opens doors for new research because of its capability to perform complex analyses using 90 percent less sample fluid than needed in conventional tests.
"A great deal of research has been hindered because in many cases one is not able to extract enough fluid," Ghodbane said.
The Rutgers breakthrough also requires one-tenth of the chemicals used in a conventional multiplex immunoassay, which can cost as much as $1500. Additionally, the device automates much of the skilled labor involved in performing tests.
"The results are as sensitive and accurate as the standard benchtop assay,'' said Martin Yarmush, the Paul and Mary Monroe Chair and Distinguished Professor of biomedical engineering at Rutgers and Ghodbane's adviser.
Until now, animal research on central nervous system disorders, such as spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease, has been limited because researchers could not extract sufficient cerebrospinal fluid to perform conventional assays.
"With our technology, researchers will be able to perform large-scale controlled studies with comparable accuracy to conventional assays," Yarmush said.
The discovery could also lead to more comprehensive research on autoimmune joint diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis through animal studies. As with spinal fluid, the amount of joint fluid, or synovial fluid, researchers are able to collect from lab animals is minuscule.
The Rutgers team has combined several capabilities for the first time in the device they've dubbed "ELISA-on-a-chip" (for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay). A single device analyzes 32 samples at once and can measure widely varying concentrations of as many as six proteins in a sample.
The researchers are exploring the commercial potential of their technology.
Other members of the research team are Elizabeth Stucky, a doctoral student in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and assistant research professor Tim Maguire, associate research professor Rene Schloss, professor David Shreiber and associate professor Jeffrey Zahn, all in the Department of Biomedical Engineering.
The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research and Corning, Inc. provided funding for the research.
Carl Blesch | EurekAlert!
Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions
21.10.2016 | Stanford University
New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality
19.10.2016 | University of Waterloo
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences