U of T Engineering is joining with the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada to create a center & # 39; national innovation focused on mikrofluwidi – an area in which small amounts of & # 39; fluid are manipulated in & # 39; of & # 39; scale equipment to create everything from "laboratories" for portable diagnostic kits for repairing human organs.
The new center, called certificates Research and Applications Center at & # 39; Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT) will combine the talents of experts mikrofluwidi And Engineering T – Professors Axel Guenther (MIE, IBBME), Milica Radisic (IBBME, CHEME) and Aaron wheeler (Chemical, IBBME) – and NRC scientists in an effort to catalyze new discoveries and increase production of & # 39; existing prototypes to deliver patient care & # 39; higher quality at a lower price.
B & # 39; everything, CRAFT will involve more than 200 people, 45 laboratories and 25 technology company, and will be financed with & # 39; jointly by both partners with & # 39; investment & # 39; $ 22 million over five years.
"Toronto is one of the leading centers in the world for this type of & # 39; research", says Guenther, who is the scientific director of the Center for Mikrofluwidi systems, and one of the main researchers involved in CRAFT collaboration.
"There are more than 30 teams working on these types of & # 39; modes, including at & # 39; U & # 39; T hospitals and our partners."
Both researchers And & # 39; T as well as the NRC scientists are world leaders in mikrofluwidi, which involves mixing & # 39; Small amounts of & # 39; fluid on a small chip to achieve desired chemical or physical reaction, or to grow living cells in & # 39; environment that mimics the human body. When combining forces, the new CRAFT platform – the NRC first collaboration of its kind – is expected to generate new patents and public and scientific publications. It also aims to strengthen the medical and manufacturing industries of Canada, and make them more internationally competitive.
B & # 39; in particular, CRAFT will focus on the use of & # 39; mikrofluwidi technologies to make progress in the following key areas: the functions of & # 39; Medical laboratories on one small chip, allowing faster diagnosis & # 39; diseases; organ tissue growing outside the body devices to test drugs or to make personalized medicine-related research; and print biological tissues that can be used to repair & # 39; human body organs.
The team & # 39; Guenther, for example, uses mikroflujdika technology to create 3D skin handheld printer that deposits layers & # 39; skin tissue to cover and cure deep wounds. The size & # 39; a small shoebox, the device weighs less than a kilogram and functions like dispenser & # 39; white tape depositing thin sheets & # 39; skin tissue.
Radisic, Canada Canada & # 39; Research in Cardiovascular Functional Textile Engineering, and Wheeler, Canada Research Chair Bioanalitika Chemistry, will also have key roles in CRAFT collaboration. Radisic developed injected patch, you can & # 39; is seeded with & # 39; heart cells from the very body of the patient, to repair the tissue damaged during a heart attack without recourse to heart surgery open.
The team & # 39; Wheeler, meanwhile, has developed a diagnostic platform "lab-on-a-chip" portable to bring the power of & # 39; diagnostic laboratory in the area, which was used to measure the level of & # 39; immunity to diseases that can & # 39; a vaccine to prevent f & # 39; remote regions of Kenya.
But all the technologies currently exist only as prototypes. Their pricing for clinical application require a significant increase in production.
"When a student develops something, usually done by hand – is industrial equipment", explains Radisic. "If you want to be something that is used in industry as a whole, must be able to thousands at a time. And it is very time-sensitive: If it does not fast enough, the window & # 39; close opportunity."
Therefore, the vision for CRAFT is to create a key facility that can & # 39; microfluidics technologies brings a prototype on laboratory-scale commercially viable products.
To get the & # 39; there, the equipment mikrofabbra of the three U of T engineering laboratories will be consolidated and grown in & # 39; new machines capable of manufacturing thousands of & # 39; units. Graduate students and researchers from U & # 39; T and hospitals working together with its partners & # 39; NRC scientists and technologists b & # 39; experience in developing & # 39; medical devices. They will also draw b & # 39; extensively the expertise and capabilities of & # 39; Center manufacturing & # 39; Research & # 39; Existing Medical Devices & # 39; NRC f & # 39; Boucherville, Que.
"When our students can interact one on one with & # 39; in scale and marketing experts, giving it a huge advantage", says Wheeler. "This means that we can overcome any obstacle to the application immediately, which in turn allows us to get new technologies into clinical lot faster."
NRC has deep expertise working with unique materials needed to construct devices mikrofluwidu scale.
"Many researchers build their prototypes material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS)," Radisic said. "It's easier to work with the laboratory, but absorbs small molecules, including drugs, which means that we can not make use of the commercial versions. The scientists of the NRC know how to make devices other thermoplastic elastomers which do not absorb small molecules.
"What is game changer for us."
Guenther expects over the next five years, will generate a number of CRAFT & # 39; spinoff companies. He also stresses that cooperation – between researchers, technologists and doctors – will be important to the success of CRAFT.
"This facility will be open, accessible to everyone working in & # 39; this space technology", says Guenther.
"The marketing is something that can not be the only engineers. Good project is one in which clinicians have strong views on engineering, and engineers have in-depth knowledge of clinical reality. I saw it & # 39; often – really makes all the difference. "