Brandi Wampler | September 3, 2019
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have received $2.9 million to develop a new diagnostic platform that could diagnose cancer in as little as three hours by using only one or two drops of blood.
With the award from the National Institutes of Health, the research team aims to integrate a suite of micro- or nanofluidic technologies that will improve the analysis of extracellular RNA (exRNA), which are molecules critical to disease development. The role of exRNA is to carry information about cellular makeup. Therefore, the release of exRNA from tumor cells may offer important details such as tumor type and size. The new diagnostic platform will aim to separate nanoparticle carriers from their exRNAs and to identify the different carriers of exRNA, in order to decipher the “information” these exRNAs carry and pinpoint their cell origin.
“Current technology has allowed for the identification of exRNA, but slowly, and the results are typically inefficient and lack the quality needed to determine a diagnosis,” said Hsueh-Chia Chang, the Bayer Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and project lead. “Our proposed diagnostic platform will separate the nanoparticle carriers, release their exRNA cargo and then identify the disease biomarkers, all by integrating an array of technologies invented by our research team here at Notre Dame.”
Read more here.