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BIOCHIPS - the next generation

30.09.2005 - (idw) Technische Universität Chemnitz

Within the European project SEMOFS, researchers from Chemnitz University of Technology are going to develop novel technologies for biomedical analysis on a chip for the diagnosis of cancer or virus infections Since September 2005 the Center for Microtechnologies (ZfM) at the Chemnitz University of Technology is coordinating the European Research Project SEMOFS (Surface Enhanced Micro Optical Fluidic Systems). SEMOFS is a project which aims to develop new technologies for chips for biomedical analysis and is funded by the European Commission with 1.9 Mio Euro and a duration of 3 years. The ZfM will be funded with around 418,000 Euro.

The project will be carried out in strong cooperation with European research centers and companies like CEA in France, CSEM and Bayer AG in Switzerland, Cardiff University in Great Britain as well as Eurogentec and the Citadelle Liège in Belgium. Besides overall project coordination, the ZfM leads the work package "micro fluidics" - the development of micro fluidic components on a polymer chip.

Goal of the project is the development of a platform for biosensors which allow a fast diagnosis of diseases like cancer or virus infections at the point-of-care. Today, a lot of biochemical detection systems found on the market are based on optical principles. SEMOFS is aiming to develop the next generation of optical biosensors. This will be achieved thanks to the combination of innovative concepts of integrated micro-optics, micro-fluidics, surface functionalization, and biotechnology and will be a significant breakthrough since it will be totally integrated on a polymer-based substrate. This new biosensor concept will go far beyond the existing technology platforms and will provide increased sensitivity and diagnosis possibilities, cost effectiveness, and disposability, which is required to enable the emergence of new healthcare models. In the long term, it should even be possible to allow stroke detection, to provide allergy tests as well as to control the purity of food and the quality of water.

Miniaturization and cost efficiently produced systems are important topics on the new market of biotechnology. "The competence of the Center for Microtechnologies in the field of MEMS technologies and sensors/actuators is a decisive competitive advantage in research and development in this branch", explains Prof. Thomas Gessner, president of the Center for Microtechnologies.

For further information please contact Dr. Karla Hiller: Tel. +49 (0) 371 - 531 32 76, E-Mail and Joerg Nestler: Tel. +49 (0) 371 - 539 79 23; E-Mail

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