Nano Bugle

A window into applied science supported by INL

Lab-on-a-chip Device for Detection of Proteins in the Blood

Images obtained from NEMOSLAB site

Images obtained from NEMOSLAB site

A spin-off from the Nanoworld Institute called Technobiochip participates in a European consortium that is developing a lab-on-a-chip device to execute quickly and cheaply diagnostics with. The device integrates in single chip sensitive optical detectors with microfluidics for the samples processing.

The optical methods are more sensitive than those based on electrical resistance changes, but need complex and expensive instruments. This problem has been solved in the development of this device.

The sensors are placed in a microfluidic channel carved into a silicon chip. The channel has nine corners, and each is aligned with a waveguide of silicon nitride which carries light through the chip. This light comes from nine different diodes and goes to a single light detector. Each waveguide has different binding molecules, either an antibody or a DNA strain selected for its ability to bind to a particular blood biomolecule, such as a hormone. When a sample of blood is placed in the canal passes through the waveguides, and binding molecules cling to their goal. When biomolecules are attached to the surface of the waveguide, the speed of light moving through the waveguide switches creates a detectable change in the signal that is picked up by the light sensor, which is converted into an electrical signal that can be read. The prototype of this device is capable of detecting new biomolecules at the same time in blood serum.

Currently the device developed in this project, called NEMOSLAB, is being tested for the detection of fertility hormones and the BRCA1 gene, whose variations are implicated in some cancers types, including breast cancer.

NEMOSLAB project developers, which are also involved in the NCSRD, FhG/IBMT, STMicroelectronics, Nano-Science Center of the University of Copenhagen, UKM, Biomedica L.S., IMTEK and Dortmund IVF, hope that the chips can be produced in a silicon foundry and its price, less than a dollar.

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September 15, 2009 - Posted by | Nanobiology, Nanomedicine | , ,

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