Prix de la Fondation Dimitris N. Chorafas 2012 - Ata Tuna Ciftlik

© 2012 EPFL

© 2012 EPFL

Opportunities for high-pressure microfluidics in biomedical applications. Thèse EPFL, n° 5868 (2013). Dir.: Gijs Martin.

« Pour la mise en œuvre de concepts originaux en ingénierie et microfabrication, microfluidique, et des applications biomédicales dans des microsystèmes de type laboratoire sur puce. »

Abstract: The thesis deals with realization of high-pressure microfluidics, microfabrication methods enabling this technology and their potential to address biologically and clinically relevant questions. We have first developed a microfabrication technology for high pressure- resistant microfluidic devices. This requires a bonding technology that can be performed with multiple surfaces and at low temperature to ensure integration with any technology required for a complete diagnostic assay.

We have subsequently turned to apply the technique to biomedically and clinically relevant questions. In this context, we have shown that high-pressure microfluidic techniques can be used to control immunoreaction parameters, resulting in an immunohistochemical signal that is linearly proportional to biomarker expression levels on tissue sections, opening up the possibility of quantization of biomarker expression levels. In particular, our study focused on establishing quantitative diagnostic immunohistochemistry for breast cancer diagnosis. We demonstrated the rapid (< 5 min) quantification by immunofluorescence of the expression of biomarkers on human tissues and could eliminate more than 90% of the ambiguous results that are produced by conventional assays for analysis of the biomarker HER2. As a consequence, thanks to the higher fluidic exchange rates enabled by our high-pressure microfluidic circuits, both the throughput and the accuracy in cancer diagnosis could be improved.