Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


New microchip technology for medical imaging biomarkers of disease


A collaboration between scientists at UCLA, Caltech, Stanford, Siemens and Fluidigm have developed a new technology using integrated microfluidics chips for simplifying, lowering the cost and diversifying the types of molecules used to image the biology of disease with the medical imaging technology, Positron Emission Tomography (PET). These molecules are used with PET to diagnostically search throughout the body to look for (image) the molecular errors of disease and to guide the development of new molecular therapeutics.

PET is a new generation of medical imaging for examining the biology of disease that has been shown to dramatically improve the detection of cancer, stage the extent of cancer throughout the body, detect recurrence of cancer and to help select the right therapy for individual patients.

In Alzheimer’s disease, PET has been shown to have a 93% accuracy in detecting Alzheimer’s about three years before the conventional diagnosis of "Probable Alzheimer’s", when integrated into the clinical workup of patients. In addition, PET has been shown to detect Alzheimer’s and other neurological disease years before even symptoms are expressed. PET is also employed to determine which patients with cardiovascular disease will benefit from bypass surgery and angioplasty.

These and other clinical uses of PET employ a labeled version of the sugar glucose, called Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Glucose is a critical fuel for cells throughout the body to perform their normal functions. For example, 95% of the energy for the brain to function comes from glucose. In addition, cancer cells increase their metabolism of glucose about 25 fold. There were about three million clinical PET studies performed in clinical services throughout the world in 2005.

Published this week in the journal Science, scientists demonstrated a new technology of a programmable chip that can dramatically accelerate the development of many new molecular imaging molecules for PET. As a proof of principle, this group of academic and commercial scientists demonstrated that FDG could be synthesized on a "stamp-size" chip. These chips have a design similar to integrated electronic circuits, except they are made up of fluid channels, chambers and values (switches) that can carry out many chemical operations to synthesize and label molecules for PET imaging. All the operations of the chip are controlled and executed by a PC.

FDG was produced on the chip and used to image glucose metabolism in a mouse with a specially designed PET scanner for mice produced by Siemens, called a microPET. The Science paper also illustrated that this technology can also produce the amount of FDG required for human studies. More importantly, the paper illustrates a new base technology for producing and delivering a diverse array of molecular imaging molecules and labeled drugs for use with PET to examine the biology of many diseases for molecular diagnostics and to guide the development of new molecular therapeutics (drugs).

"Chemists synthesize molecules in a lab by mixing chemicals in beakers and repeating experiments many times, but one day soon they’ll sit at a PC and carry out chemical synthesis with the digital control, speed and flexibility of today’s world of electronics using a tiny integrated microfluidic chip," said Hsian-Rong Tseng, Ph.D, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

There is a vast distribution of manufacturing sites throughout the world producing PET molecular imaging molecules for hospitals, universities and pharmaceutical companies. The goal is to integrate these new chips into a small control device operated by a PC that will be commercially produced. Then to ship chips to users so they can produce whatever molecules they choose for molecular imaging with PET. These chips will be an enabling technology to fuel growth in the number and diversity of imaging molecules and applications of PET in biology and pharmaceutical research and in the care of patients.

Rachel Champeau | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

nachricht New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

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...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

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...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

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...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

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...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>