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Advances in cancer detection research by Virginia Tech engineer featured in British magazine
Date:1/28/2010

Blacksburg, Va. New advances for the detection of cancer led by Rafael V. Davalos of the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Science (SBES) are featured as the cover story in the January 19, 2010 Royal Society of Chemistry's magazine, "Lab on a Chip," the premier journal for researchers in microfluidics. http://www.rsc.org/Publishing/Journals/lc/index.asp

Microfluidics is the behavior of fluids at the microscale level. A relatively new technology, it had already shown promise in revolutionizing certain procedures in molecular biology and in proteomics, among other fields.

Building upon novel technology developed while working on Homeland Security projects at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) as well as from his biomedical graduate student days at the University of California, Berkeley, Davalos, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech, is now creating unique microsystems that are showing considerable promise for the detection of cancer and for the study of the progression of this disease. http://www.sbes.vt.edu/people/faculty/primary/davalos.html

Specifically, Davalos helped engineer microsystems for the detection of water-borne pathogens using a technique called dielectrophoresis (DEP) in the early part of this decade. DEP separates and identifies cells and microparticles suspended in a medium based on their size and electrical properties.

Using the technology that can detect bacteria in water, Davalos continues to work with his colleague at Sandia, Blake A. Simmons, vice president, Deconstruction of the Joint BioEnergy Institute and manager of the Energy Systems Department at SNL. Together, they hypothesized that the technology could be reconfigured to detect cancer cells by injecting a blood or saliva sample into their
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Contact: Lynn A. Nystrom
tansy@vt.edu
540-231-4371
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert  

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