Disease research technology development grant

May 29, 2009

LCGC Europe eNews

LCGC Europe eNews-05-29-2009, Volume 0, Issue 0

The University of Oxford has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Technology Development Grant to work on the detection and characterization of nanoparticles in the early detection of human disease.

The University of Oxford has recently been awarded a Wellcome Trust Technology Development Grant to work on the detection and characterization of nanoparticles in the early detection of human disease. Nanoparticle characterization technology manufacturer NanoSight has announced its close involvement in the research aimed at measuring cellular nanoparticles in plasma and urine as biomarkers of a broad range of human disease conditions.

This project involves the detection in the bloodstream of tiny fragments of cells, microparticles (100 nm–1 µm) and exosomes (30–100 nm). The numbers of these particles have been found to be significantly raised in the blood of patients with a number of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, clotting problems and cancer, raising the possibility that measuring these particles in blood could be used to predict those at risk. However, their detection and size distribution measurement pose considerable challenges.

Based on the company's existing technology and capabilities, a novel fluorescence variant of existing instrumentation will be developed in collaboration with the Oxford scientists to enable these micro- and nanoparticles to be detected and characterized in plasma and urine samples for the first time. By breaking through the limitations of existing fluorescence microparticle technology (such as flow cytometry), NanoSight aims to help open up a new class of diagnostic biomarkers in the fight against some of the most common and important diseases to afflict humans.

For more information on NanoSight visit www.nanosightuk.co.uk