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Portable Chips for Genetic Diagnostics

Bilkent University faculty members, Asst. Prof. Yegan Erdem, Asst. Prof. Barbaros Çetin and Asst. Prof. Coşkun Kocabaş will develop portable diagnostic chips for the detection of genetic diseases in a faster, realiable and easier way.

Biochemicals that will be used in the project will be synthesized by the Sentegen Biotechnology company located at Bilkent Cyberpark. There are also medical doctors from  Turgut Özal University Hospital in the project team.

Several diseases can be detected by looking at our genetic codes, or DNA. This is realized by polymerase chain reactions; where DNA samples are amplified in order to detect genetic diseases, pathogens or genetically modified organisms. Oncologic studies and preternal diagnosis can also be made by this technique. The specific goal of this project is to diagnose Hepatite B virus by utilizing a microfluidic lab-on-a-chip system to carry out these polimerase chain reactions in a much faster and accurate way compared to conventional methods. This system requires very small samples (in the range of nano/picoliters) and it can be made portable as well as disposable. Being disposable, the possibility of transmitting a disease from one patient to another will be prevented, on the other hand portability brings the possibility of making point of care diagnosis. This research will be funded by Tübitak 1003 Priority Area Grant.