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 Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract
28.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Artificial intelligence may help diagnose tuberculosis in remote areas
25.04.2017 | Radiological Society of North America

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>