Researchers from Freiburg have developed a sensor platform that quantifies antibiotics in human blood within minutes A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg has developed a system inspired by biology that can detect several different antibiotics in human blood or other fluids ... more
Micro-Copier for Genome AnalysisNew method holds promise to advance personalised medicine
The DNA sequences are replicated in picowell arrays (bottom) and transferred on microscopic slides (top).
The scientists Jochen Hoffmann, Dr. Guenther Roth, and Prof. Dr. Roland Zengerle from the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg can copy simultaneously 100.000 different DNA sequences in a so called picowell array that has the size of a one cent coin.
The picowell array is a chip with 100.000 wells on which the DNA sequences are dispersed in order to achieve a statistical distribution of one sequence per well. All wells are then covered with one microscopic slide and the DNA sequences are replicated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. The resulting DNA copies bind to the miscroscopic slide at exactly the position of the original DNA sequence. The DNA copies can be decoded by next-generation sequencing systems in the wells of the array. The microscopic slides can be used, similar to DNA microarrays, for the rapid and cost-effective analysis of entire genomes – without the need for other equipment or additional transfer steps.
Such genome analyses allow insights into the regulatory systems of an organism. For example the genome analysis of a tumour cell can reveal which of its signal paths are defective. This knowledge in the context of “personalised medicine” can help to develop a tailored therapy for a specific patient group.
The project was supported by the “Program for Excellency in Science and Technology” as part of a grant from the Hans L- Merkle-Stiftung. The Robert Bosch GmbH and the Association for the Promotion of Science and Humanities in Germany also supported the project.
The topic is now further developed in the Lab-on-a-Chip research groups “Arrays” of Jochen Hoffmann and “Assays” of Dr. Guenther Roth. Lab-on-a-chip is a main research topic in cooperation with the Laboratory for MEMS Applications and the Institut fuer Mikro- und Informationstechnik der Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft (HSG-IMIT). The research groups are based on the campus of the Faculty for Engineering.
- next generation sequencing
A Freiburg-based research group has developed a microfluidic chip where more than one hundred apidose-derived adult stem cell cultures can grow and divide. In the human body, adipose tissue acts as a primary energy store. Adult stem cells have the task of maintaining and regenerating this p ... more
How do the cells in a human embryo know where they are located in the body and how they should develop? Why do certain cells form a finger while others do not? Freiburg biologists have explained the mechanisms that control these steps by showing why veins form at particular points in the wi ... more
- 1Taking a closer look at genetic switches in cancer
- 2Plasmon-powered upconversion nanocrystals for enhanced bioimaging and polarized emission
- 3A fresh look inside the protein nano-machines
- 4Water is surprisingly ordered on the nanoscale
- 5Discovery of a key regulatory gene in cardiac valve formation
- 6Safe medications thanks to new test procedures
- 7Competition among pathogens