Navigation Links
Advances in cancer detection research by Virginia Tech engineer featured in British magazine
Date:1/28/2010

Blacksburg, Va. New advances for the detection of cancer led by Rafael V. Davalos of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science (SBES) are featured as the cover story in the January 19, 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry's magazine, "Lab on a Chip," the premier journal for researchers in microfluidics. http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/lc/index.asp

Microfluidics is the behavior of fluids at the microscale level. A relatively new technology, it had already shown promise in revolutionizing certain procedures in molecular biology and in proteomics, among other fields.

Building upon novel technology developed while working on Homeland Security projects at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) as well as from his biomedical graduate student days at the University of California, Berkeley, Davalos, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech, is now creating unique microsystems that are showing considerable promise for the detection of cancer and for the study of the progression of this disease. http://www.sbes.vt.edu/people/faculty/primary/davalos.html

Specifically, Davalos helped engineer microsystems for the detection of water-borne pathogens using a technique called dielectrophoresis (DEP) in the early part of this decade. DEP separates and identifies cells and microparticles suspended in a medium based on their size and electrical properties.

Using the technology that can detect bacteria in water, Davalos continues to work with his colleague at Sandia, Blake A. Simmons, vice president, Deconstruction of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and manager of the Energy Systems Department at SNL. Together, they hypothesized that the technology could be reconfigured to detect cancer cells by injecting a blood or saliva sample into their microfluidic chip to screen for cancer, based on the cancer cells electrical signatures.

"Unfortunately, the direct translation was not possible due to applying high electric fields in conductive physiological solutions such as blood as compared to tap water," Davalos said. However, the lessons learned and engineering that went into developing robust and reliable microsystems at SNL was instrumental in motivating his team to come up with a viable solution called contactless dielectrophoresis (cDEP).

Today, Davalos, an award-winning assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech, along with his graduate students and co-authors of the paper, Hadi Shafiee, John Caldwell, Erin A. Henslee, and Michael Sano, all of Blacksburg, have found a way to provide "the non-uniform electric field required for DEP that does not require electrodes to contact the sample fluid."

They named their variation cDEP since it does not require electrodes to contact the sample fluid; instead electrodes are capacitively coupled to a fluidic channel in his device through barriers that act as insulators. High-frequency electric fields are then applied to these electrodes, inducing an electric field in a channel in the device. Their initial studies illustrate the potential of this technique to identify cells through their unique electrical responses without fear of contamination from electrodes or significant joule heating.

The significance of this work is it "enables a robust method to screen for targeted cells based on the dielectrophoretic properties from an entire blood sample rather than a few microliters," Davalos, the director of Virginia Tech's Bioelectromechanical Systems Laboratory, explained.

The paper accepted by the publication "Lab on a Chip" is titled "Selective isolation of live/dead cells using contactless dielectrophoresis (cDEP)." http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayHTMLArticleforfree.cfm?JournalCode=LC&Year=2010&ManuscriptID=b920590j&Iss=Advance_Article

"With the microfluidic devices, the researchers are able to selectively isolate a targeted cell type and let the others float by," Davalos, the 2006 recipient of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award for Most Promising Engineer or Scientist, said. The behavior of living cancer cells was observed to be significantly different from those of their dead counterparts within the device.

"I'm really proud of my students. Our vision would not have been realized without their ability to engineer some crazy ideas," he said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lynn A. Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. $3.75 million grant advances tissue engineering partnership
2. Kentucky study advances new target for CNS drug development
3. Genome advances peril for pests
4. Advances in lung cancer research announced at conference
5. Using combinatorial libraries to engineer genetic circuits advances synthetic biology
6. New hope for advances in treating malaria
7. Olympus advances technology for laparo-endoscopic single-site surgery
8. Salient Stills Notches Significant Advances in Profitability, Diversity of Sales and Customers, and Video Forensics Technology in 2008
9. Iowa Power Fund advances researcher’s long quest for efficient solar power
10. Evolution and climate change research advances at Rutgers-Camden
11. State fund advances titanium powder research, 9 other Iowa State projects
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Advances in cancer detection research by Virginia Tech engineer featured in British magazine
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus ... justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections ... the prisons involved, it has secured the final ... (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. ... additional facilities to be installed by October, 2016. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Regular discussions on a range of subjects ... the two entities said Poloz. Speaking at a ... , he pointed to the country,s inflation target, which ... "In certain areas ... have common economic goals, why not sit down and address ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Md. , June 23, 2016 A person ... from the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA ... sequencing to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
Breaking Biology Technology: