Posts Tagged ‘target cells’

Reporter: Venkat Karra, Ph.D.

Researchers at Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed a miniaturized biochip that promises to boost the development of more effective cancer drugs.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research said on Wednesday that its research into the effect of drugs on cancer stem cells (CSCs) would shed light on cells that are resistant to drugs, local TV Channel NewsAsia reported.

It also explained how the technology works on CSCs, which form a small and distinct class of cancer cells in a tumor.

CSCs are more resistant to chemotherapy and if they are not eradicated, CSCs can repopulate the tumor and lead to cancer recurrence. It is therefore important for researchers to understand the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs against CSCs.

However, CSCs are scarce, making up about 1 percent of cancer cells.

This hampers studies using conventional drug screening methods, which require large sample volumes and are slow and expensive.

The IBN researchers found an answer, by developing a miniaturized biological assay, called the Droplet Array. It performs cheaper, faster and more convenient drug screening using limited samples.

In traditional biological assays, microplates — a flat plate with multiple wells in which samples are placed – are commonly used. Each requires at least 2,500 or 5,000 cells, to be present for viable analysis. IBN’s Droplet Array requires only 500 cells for screening. This massive reduction in sample volume saves money and makes it easier to study scarce quantities of target cells, such as CSCs.

IBN executive director, Professor Jackie Y Ying, who led the study, was quoted as saying that the Droplet Array marks a significant breakthrough in nanotechnology and lab-on-a-chip concepts. It also provides an efficient platform to speed up drug screening and development.



Reporter: Venkat Karra

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