Imec MIRACLE project to develop cheaper lab-on-a-chip for cancer diagnosis

Sept. 2, 2010
Leuven, Belgium--Imec and its project partners announced the launch of the MIRACLE project to develop an operational lab-on-chip for cost-efficient cancer diagnosis.

Leuven, Belgium--Imec and its project partners announced the launch of the European Seventh Framework Project MIRACLE. The MIRACLE project aims to develop an operational lab-on-chip for the isolation and detection of circulating and disseminated tumor cells (CTCs and DTCs) in blood. The new lab-on-chip is an essential step towards faster and cost-efficient cancer diagnosis.

Imec says that today, cell analysis is 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. 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. 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. For genotyping, genetic material will be extracted from the cells and multiple cancer-related markers will be amplified based on multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA) followed by their detection using an array of electrochemical sensors. Full integration of all steps requires innovative research and processing steps that need a combination of the multidisciplinary and unique expertise of the different project partners (ranging from microfluidics to interfacing, miniaturization, and integration skills).

Within the framework of the MIRACLE project, imec as project coordinator, collaborates with the Universitat Rovira I Virgili (Spain), the Institut für Mikrotechnik Mainz, AdnaGen, ThinXXs and Consultech (Germany), MRC Holland (The Netherlands), the Oslo University Hospital (Norway), the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Multi-D and Fujirebio Diagnostics (Sweden), ECCO - the European CanCer Organisation and ICsense (Belgium) and Labman (UK). The project aims at developing a fully automated and integrated microsystem providing the genotype (gene expression profile) of CTCs and DTCs starting from clinical samples. MIRACLE is partly funded by the European Commission (FP7-ICT-2009.3.9). More information on the project is available at www.miracle-fp7.eu.

SOURCE:Imec; www2.imec.be/be_en/press/imec-news/miracle.html

Posted by:Gail Overton

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; It’s free!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!