Picofluidics Ltd, in Cardiff have been working with Swansea University's Centre for NanoHealth (CNH) in order to detect the early stages of a disease, harnessing the power of nanotechnology can radically change the way in which a diagnosis is made. An important aspect of this is research that focuses on the development of novel point-of-care systems that are capable detecting disease through the presence of biomarkers within a sample assay. This is achieved through a sample being taken directly from a patient via invasive microneedles which is then analysed using a silicon nanowire-based biochip.
The outcome of this work is the development of a biosensor comprising of integrated electronics and biochip with functionalised silicon nanowires and microneedles. This system combines Nanosensor-based system together in a single integrated microfluidics system. This point of care technology has been developed through the use of a number of key fabrication technologies, including; nanofabrication, microelectronic flexography printing, microneedle fabrication, and 3D printing.
This point of care system represents a powerful new diagnostic method, which integrates nanotechnology and microfluidic technology together. This multifunctional system changes the very foundation of disease diagnosis as a point of care test technology.
Dr John MacNeil, Picofluidics Ltd, “In the healthcare sector there is a growing demand for small, relatively low cost, Point of Care Diagnostics systems that can provide rapid results. Through participation in this project Picofluidics has gained valuable insight into the technical challenges that need to be overcome to deliver commercially viable Point of Care solutions to end users.”