Device could put disease detection in the palm of a hand

Jul 03, 2007
Device could put disease detection in the palm of a hand
Berkeley associate professor Lydia Sohn (right) explains her nanocytometer to Arden Bement, director of the National Science Foundation, at a Capitol Hill exhibition.

Lydia Sohn, associate professor of mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley, took her show on the road last week with a demonstration of her handheld nanocytometer at a "science fair" for leaders of Congress and the National Science Foundation.

The Coalition for National Science Funding Exhibition, on Capitol Hill, brought together researchers from 16 universities and 40 national scientific and educational associations. Sohn's contribution was her "pore-on-a-chip" technology, developed with an NSF grant, that makes disease detection at home or in the field an affordable reality. The device is currently in the pipeline for commercial development.

The nanocytometer is a pocket-sized device that can rapidly identify diseases by testing a single drop of blood using an inexpensive disposable cartridge. The cartridges contain a silicon chip laden with artificial nanopores that mimic the filtration system of human cells.

"The nanocytometer lets us work at the intersection of a number of disciplines, from biology an mechanical engineering to solid-state physics and chemical engineering," says Sohn, who developed the device in collaboration with Andrea Carbonaro and Haiyan Huang of UC Berkeley and Lucy Godley of the University of Chicago. The tool has the potential to boost survival chances for leukemia, prostate or breast-cancer patients — particularly where the cancer has recurred — by offering early detection of rare, isolated cancer cells.

Source: UC Berkeley

Explore further: Self-replicating nanostructures made from DNA

Related Stories

CLAIRE brings electron microscopy to soft materials

May 14, 2015

Soft matter encompasses a broad swath of materials, including liquids, polymers, gels, foam and - most importantly - biomolecules. At the heart of soft materials, governing their overall properties and capabilities, ...

Recommended for you

Self-replicating nanostructures made from DNA

2 hours ago

(Phys.org)—Is it possible to engineer self-replicating nanomaterials? It could be if we borrow nature's building blocks. DNA is a self-replicating molecule where its component parts, nucleotides, have specific ...

Non-aqueous solvent supports DNA nanotechnology

May 27, 2015

Scientists around the world are using the programmability of DNA to assemble complex nanometer-scale structures. Until now, however, production of these artificial structures has been limited to water-based ...

Nanosilver and the future of antibiotics

May 27, 2015

Precious metals like silver and gold have biomedical properties that have been used for centuries, but how do these materials effectively combat the likes of cancer and bacteria without contaminating the ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.