Grant awarded to research centre to create lab-on-a-chip technology
A research centre based at the University of Kansas has been awarded $6.6 million to create lab-on-a-chip technology for medical tests.
A research centre based at the University of Kansas, US, that develops rapid next-generation tests for a host of human ailments recently earned $6.6 million in continued funding over the next five years from the US National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) as a US National Biotechnology Resource (P41) Center. The grant has been awarded to the centre to create lab-on-a-chip technology.
The Center of BioModular Multi-Scale Systems for Precision Medicine, (CBM), takes small plastic chips made of the same material as a compact disc and transforms them into marvels of engineering and chemistry that quickly can detect hard-to-diagnose human diseases using saliva, urine, or blood from a patient. The liquid biopsies can detect circulating tumour cells, cell-free DNA, viruses, and vesicles that are released by biological cells associated with a particular disease.
“We develop little $2 widgets made from a plastic by injection moulding that can take a liquid biopsy sample and search for different types of markers that can help a physician manage disease,” explained CBM director Steven Soper. “To give you an example, this little chip is used to isolate tumour cells out of the blood of cancer patients. A physician will take a sample of blood from the patient, put it into the chip to enrich the tumour cells from the blood sample — there’s very few of them, maybe about 10 or so — and then we open those cells to look at the genetic composition to help decide: does the patient have a disease, how to treat the disease, is the patient responding to therapy?”
The researchers how that the lab-on-a-chip technology has the potential to improve and save lives, as well as benefiting patients while strengthening the Kansas economy.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), The Center of BioModular Multi-Scale Systems for Precision Medicine, University of Kansas, US National Biotechnology Resource (P41) Center, US National Institutes of Health (NIH)