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12/26/2012

Pocket-sized chip screens for fifty biomarkers at once

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    The idea is to develop a new microfluidic device able to quickly perform a blood screening for up to fifty biomarkers at once.
    The chip will be larger and will have more channels than conventional microfluidic devices. Still small enough to be carried in a pocket, the V-chip (volumetric bar-chart chip) will consist of a pair of thin sheets of glass sandwiching wells for: hydrogen peroxide; up to 50 different antibodies to specific proteins, DNA or RNA fragments, or lipids of interest and the enzyme catalase; serum or other sample; and a dye.
    When the substance being tested binds to the antibodies, the catalase will be activated, splitting the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. The oxygen will then force the dye up the column according to the amount of the particular substance present in the sample, creating an visual bar chart that can be quickly and easily read without the need for any specialized equipment.
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Dr. Gibbson
 
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