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Micro/nano Project Team of SIA Got CAS-Croucher Funding Support
Author: Update times: 2013-01-24                          | Print | Close | Text Size: A A A

The micro/nano project team of the Robotics Laboratory of Shenyang Institute of Automation (SIA), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in cooperation with the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering of the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has obtained 1 million HKD (about 802,053 RMB) funding support from the CAS-Croucher Funding Scheme for Joint Laboratory. The aim is to develop and advance the research into a novel technology for the early detection of cancerous cells by utilizing micro/nano manipulation.

The Croucher Foundation is the only private foundation in Hong Kong dedicated to promoting natural science research in Hong Kong. The CAS-Croucher joint funding scheme was established in 2004. Every two years, domestic and overseas experts will conduct evaluation to applicants, and choose two to three research projects jointly conducted by CAS institutes and Universities in Hong Kong.

The joint laboratory will perform cancerous cells detection research with the funding. Due to millions of normal cells included in 1ml of blood sample, existing technology is not sufficient to detect the few cancerous cells mixed in normal cells. Researchers in SIA and CityU have successfully developed “Optically-induced dielectrophoresis micro/nano manipulation platform”. Previous experimental results demonstrated that, by using this platform, the few cancerous cells in blood would be self-rotation and simultaneously move towards areas that illuminated by the projected light, therefore, they can be separated from the red blood cells in the blood sample.

After getting the support, researchers from SIA and CityU will continue their cooperation in systematic research on the detection and separation methodology of cancerous cells. Fluorescent staining method is employed in traditional way of detecting and separating cancerous cells, which will make the process complex and costly. With optically-induced micro/nano manipulation technology, separation of cancerous cells is realized by relying on the cells’ physical properties; therefore it is a label-free separation technology without the complex process of fluorescent staining. Compared with “Optical tweezers”, another advanced cell manipulation and control technology, the micro/nano manipulation method can lower the cost of cancerous cell detection to at least ten percent of that of the “optical tweezers” method, while raising the speed by more than 100 times.

(Source: Robotics Laboratory)

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