Lab-on-a-chip systems bring the laboratory to the patient instead of the other way around: a blood sample will no longer have to go to the laboratory and the patient will no longer have to wait for the result; a pocket-sized laboratory that gives the result on the spot will soon be available.
This is called ‘point-of-care diagnostics’. According to Prof. Albert van den Berg, who leads the University of Twente’s BIOS Lab-on-a-chip group, a real breakthrough can be expected from making special nanoscale structures for generating electrical fields that can be used to study individual cells or molecules: “So far a lot of experiments have been carried out with optical techniques that are sometimes difficult to integrate in a complete system.
The new nanostructures we envisage will make it possible for us to miniaturize systems even further and to develop commercially-feasible equipment.”
Amongst other things, he anticipates that this research will provide opportunities for developing extremely sensitive chips that can detect biomarkers for cancer at a very early stage, and thus enable better treatment. Van Den Berg also wants to study cell growth on the new chips. The advantage of miniaturization here is that the environment in which the cell grows can be controlled very precisely. This precision is a great advantage for the development of new medicines, too: the researchers want, for example, to allow two types of cells to fuse on a chip to form new cells that will produce medicines.
Van den Berg’s group, a unit of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, has built up a global reputation in this field. A chip has, for instance, already been developed that realizes point-of-care diagnostics for people who use the medicine lithium. The spin-off enterprise MediMate will be launching this development on the market in the near future. In the eLab4Life project the group will be working together with Prof. Jurriaan Huskens' Molecular Nanofabrication group and Prof. Clemens van Blitterswijk’s Tissue Regeneration group.
The European Research Council’s Advanced Grants are European subsidies for research that opens up new horizons. One hundred and five of almost a thousand applications in the field of Physical Sciences and Engineering have been awarded one of these grants. Nine of these winning projects are based in the Netherlands. Albert van den Berg’s eLab4Life project can expect 2.4 million euros.
Wiebe van der Veen | alfa
Electrical 'switch' in brain's capillary network monitors activity and controls blood flow
27.03.2017 | Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
Laser activated gold pyramids could deliver drugs, DNA into cells without harm
24.03.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences
27.03.2017 | Life Sciences