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Labs-on chips have been developed for the medical world. These chips are also described as laboratories that fit on one microchip. Thanks to these chips it is possible, among other things, to make a complete analysis of the blood with a drop of blood, or to study the effect of drugs on organ tissue.
Studies on individual cells for sorting and detection of (circulating) nanoparticles in blood are being investigated. This work is relevant for antibiotic resistance, development of new drugs for immune diseases and (early) detection of cancer and ischemia.
In the cluster “Nanos Detection and Preparation”, emphasis is placed on new ultra-sensitive optical detection techniques for early diagnosis of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, sample preparation and target extraction techniques will be explored that are essential to transfer relevant targets from the milliliter samples to less than nl analysis volumes.
In the cluster “Nanofluidics” the manipulation and valves of ultra-small sample volumes and micro- and nanoparticles are investigated using ultrasonic, electrical and magnetic techniques. In addition, new nanofluidics separation techniques will be developed for rapid analysis of proteins and DNA. All three clusters involve top quality researchers (Spinoza, Stevin, Vici laureates), large companies (Philips) and SMEs (Lionix, Micronit, Pamgene, etc.). For clinical expertise, there is collaboration with NKI, LACDR and MST.
The result of the program will be a mix of excellent research, new nanotechnology-based methods for rapid and early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer, ischemia, Parkinson’s, etc., and valorisation of such techniques by participating companies or newly formed spin-offs.