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Cancer lab-on-chip project from Imec

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CIOL Bureau
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LEUVEN, BELGIUM:  Imec, which performs research in nanoelectronics, said that it and its project partners launched the European Seventh Framework Project MIRACLE.

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The MIRACLE project aims at developing an operational lab-on-chip for the isolation and detection of circulating and disseminated tumor cells (CTCs and DTCs) in blood, said a press release. The new lab-on-chip is an essential step towards faster and cost-efficient diagnosis of cancer.

Detection of circulating and disseminated tumor cells in blood is a promising methodology to diagnose cancer dissemination or to follow up cancer patients during therapy, it said. Today, the detection analyses of these cells are performed in medical laboratories requiring labor intensive, expensive and time-consuming sample processing and cell isolation steps.

A full tumor cell detection analysis can take more than a day. A lab-on-chip, integrating the many processing steps, would enable a faster, easy-to-use, cost-effective detection of tumor cells in blood, it added. They are therefore labor-saving and minimally invasive, increasing the patient’s comfort and the efficiency of today’s healthcare.

In a preceding joint project by some of the partners (MASCOT FP6-027652), individual microfluidic modules for cell isolation, cell counting, DNA amplification and detection have been developed, it added. Based on this expertise and strengthened by additional partners, the development of a fully automated, lab-on-chip platform to isolate, count and genotype CTCs is envisaged within the framework of the MIRACLE project.

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