Natural Sciences
Life Sciences
Scientific Computing
Life Science

Prof. Dr. Ir. Albert van den Berg, Biomedical and Environmental Sensor Systems, University of Twente, The Netherlands

DKFZ, Communication Center, K1+K2, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280

Dr. Alexey Tarasov, BioMed X

The recent rapid developments in bionanotech and micro/nanofluidic technologies has enabled the realization of miniaturized laboratories. These Labs-on-a-Chip will play an important role in future medicine, both in point-of-care devices for drug or biomarker monitoring, as well as in early diagnostic devices. We developed a pre-filled ready-to-use capillary electrophoresis platform for measuring ions in blood. It is used to monitor lithium in finger-prick blood of manic-depressive patients, but can also be used for measuring calcium in blood for prevention of milk fever, or for measuring creatinine in blood or sodium in urine for early detection of ESRD. Microfluidics can also be exploited to manipulate and experiment with cells on chip. We have developed a microsystem for sperm analysis and selection for artificial insemination, where we can electrically detect and sort healthy sperm cells. Using microtechnology we currently investigate a miniaturised neural probe used for online and off line analysis of CSF. Apart from diagnostic and cell manipulation devices, microfluidic devices are increasingly used to realise advanced disease and organ-models, as illustrated by the blood-brain barrier chip and a blood vessel on a chip to study atherosclerosis. These Organs on Chip may lead to more rapid and cheaper drug development, personalised medicine and improved disease models, while minimizing or even eliminating animal testing (3R principle).

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