Printing sensors for cancer diagnosis

Kick off project ‘Printing makes Sense’ 
Printed sensors that will be used in the fight against cancer. That is something else than a printout of an agenda for a meeting. Behind the project houses a consortium of parties, among others Fontys and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

The project partners from the TU/e are prof. Maarten Merkx and prof. Jaap den Toonder. The light emitting antibody sensors (LUMABS) from the group of Merkx will be used in the development of the point-of-care diagnostics. Merkx and den Toonder will together hire a PhD candidate on this project, also supported by the TU/e Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). 

This research was awarded with a four-year grant from RAAK-PRO. This grant is aimed to support research projects on graduate schools (in Dutch: hogescholen), together with industry and other knowledge partners. A collaboration that in this case works very well. 

Diagnostic tests at the physician

‘Printing makes Sense’ is based on Lab-on-a-chip technology. This enables physicians to independently do diagnostic tests. They wouldn’t need to send a sample to the laboratory and can inform patients quicker of their diagnosis. However in practice, this application is still not used to its full potential. Printing technologies (inktjet, 3D or plasma print) can offer the solution: they are cheap, widely applicable ánd suitable for biological material like a droplet of blood.

The goal of this project is to – by using combined printing techniques – build prototypes for a bio(medical) sensor specifically aimed at two applications. Firstly a sensor that can distinguish a severe ammonia from an innocent cold by detecting a specific inflammation protein. A second sensor should quickly and easily measure the levels of a new oncological biomarker. This will help with diagnosing some tumors.

The project partners are Fontys, TU/e, Saxion, the Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem, TNO and biotechnological companies like Genmab and Surfix.

Source: BRON Fontys