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Johns Hopkins, Imec to Develop Lab-on-a-Chip Technology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Johns Hopkins University and Imec today announced a collaboration to "expand healthcare applications" for silicon nanotechnology.

Specifically, the partners aim to develop new lab-on-a-chip concepts based on Imec's nano-electronic capabilities. Such chips would be loaded with patient samples of blood, saliva, or urine for analysis on smartphones, tablets, or computers. The technology, they said, would bring diagnostic testing outside of the laboratory, "making diagnostic testing faster and easier for applications such as disease monitoring and management, disease surveillance, rural healthcare, and clinical trials."

The technology, would be "the healthcare equivalent of transforming a rotary telephone into the iPhone," Drew Pardoll, a professor of oncology at JHU, added in a statement.

Pardoll will lead the advisory board for the Johns Hopkins-Imec collaboration, which also will seek to extend silicon nanotechnology applications into other areas of medicine.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This relationship with Johns Hopkins is an important step toward creating a powerful cross-disciplinary ecosystem with consumer electronics and mobile companies, medical device manufacturers, research centers, and the broader biopharma and semiconductor industries, to create the combined expertise required to address huge healthcare challenges that lie ahead," Luc Van den hove, CEO of Imec, said in a statement. "Only through close collaboration will we be able to develop technology solutions for more accurate, reliable, and low-cost diagnostics that pave the way to better, predictive, and preventive home-based personal healthcare."

Belgium-based Imec specializes in nano-electronic research.