Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Portable molecular detection tool to revolutionise medical diagnosis

18.07.2005


A portable, versatile and low-cost molecular detection tool being developed by a team of European researchers promises to revolutionise the diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and open up new applications in sectors as diverse as environmental protection, chemical analysis and food safety.

Working in the field of micro- and nano-technologies, the IST programme-funded BioFinger project is due to begin testing its state-of-the-art system over the summer amid expectations for a commercial product to be available on the market within two to three years.

“What we are creating is a generic, highly precise and highly versatile tool to detect and analyse molecules in the blood and other fluids using nano and micro cantilevers,” explains project coordinator Joan Bausells at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Spain.

Nanocantilevers, smaller than the surface of a fly’s eye, and their larger counterparts microcantilevers, function as sensors to detect molecules providing in the medical world, for example, a way to rapidly and accurately diagnose disease. When coated with antibodies they bend and resonate to changes in surface tension and mass when fluids containing disease-related protein molecules attach to them. By seeing whether or not the cantilevers react, doctors would be able to determine whether or not a disease is present.

Though much research has been carried out into cantilevers, it has focused principally on creating large-scale tools for use inside laboratories.

“You can’t carry those around with you, so what we are developing is the first portable device that will allow doctors to diagnose diseases on the spot almost immediately,” Bausells says.

During trials at Cork University Hospital in Ireland this summer, the microcantilever version of the system will be used to detect a protein associated with prostate cancer, while the nanocantilever system, which can detect a single molecule, will be used to test blood samples for interleukin 6, a protein associated with inflammation.

The BioFinger tool incorporates the cantilevers on a microchip that is disposable after each use, allowing it to be reconfigured with new on-chip cantilevers to detect different substances. The analysis, which can be performed anywhere, anytime, takes between 15 and 20 minutes, “considerably less than the hours or days” it takes to analyse a blood sample using traditional in-lab methods, the coordinator notes. In addition, the system is likely to be considerably cheaper than traditional diagnosis techniques with each disposable chip expected to cost around 8 euros.

“It is also extremely versatile,” Bausells notes. “It could be used to detect virtually any disease, as a pregnancy test or even to determine blood types. Outside of the medical field, it could be used to analyse chemicals, detect bacteria in food or test for water pollution.”

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Novel PET imaging agent could help guide therapy for brain diseases
03.04.2018 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

nachricht New Computer Architecture: Time Lapse for Dementia Research
29.03.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE)

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle

23.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Joining metals without welding

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

Researchers illuminate the path to a new era of microelectronics

23.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>