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: Optically activating a cell signaling pathway using carbon nanotubes

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mathematicians model fluids at the mesoscale

Mar 06, 2015

When it comes to boiling water—or the phenomenon of applying heat to a liquid until it transitions to a gas—is there anything left for today's scientists to study? The surprising answer is, yes, quite ...

Precision growth of light-emitting nanowires

Feb 06, 2015

A novel approach to growing nanowires promises a new means of control over their light-emitting and electronic properties. In a recent issue of Nano Letters, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy ...

Building the next generation of efficient computers

Jan 29, 2015

UConn researcher Bryan Huey has uncovered new information about the kinetic properties of multiferroic materials that could be a key breakthrough for scientists looking to create a new generation of low-energy, ...

Recommended for you

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines

Mar 26, 2015

The latest DNA nanodevices created at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM)—including a robot with movable arms, a book that opens and closes, a switchable gear, and an actuator—may be intriguing ...

Simple method of binding pollutants in water

Mar 26, 2015

New types of membrane adsorbers remove unwanted particles from water and also, at the same time, dissolved substances such as the hormonally active bis-phenol A or toxic lead. To do this, researchers at the ...

Gold nanoparticles for targeted cancer treatment

Mar 26, 2015

The use of tiny drug-loaded nanocarriers for the safe, targeted delivery of drugs to designated parts of the body has received much press in recent years. Human trials of nanocarriers targeting pancreatic ...

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.