Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Don DeVoe, Associate Professor of Chemistry Cheng Lee, and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Doug English were awarded a $1.2 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute for General Medical Science (NIGMS). The award, titled "Ultrasensitive Proteomics via 2-D Microfluidic Profiling," involves the development of new micro and nanofluidic technology for analyzing proteins in limited biological samples such as human tissue biopsies. The system will provide an effective platform for ultrasensitive protein detection and and identification by coupling multiplexed microfluidics to mass spectrometry. Much of the research will take place in the Maryland Microfluidics Laboratory (MML), a new research facility currently under construction in Glenn L. Martin Hall which is focused on the development of micro/nano fluidic systems for ultrasensitive proteomic analysis.
An important early application of the technology will focus on analyzing microdissected tissue from cancer biopsies, leading to the identification of novel protein biomarkers which can be used at the clinical level for early detection, effective diagnostics and prognostics, and treatment selection. In addition, discovered biomarkers may be used by pharmaceutical companies as potential targets for future drug development.
The project is awarded by NIGMS through the interdisciplinary Bioengineering Research Partnerships (BRP) program. The BRP is a special NIH program enabling interdisciplinary bioengineering research. The project brings together Maryland faculty from mechanical engineering, chemistry, and bioengineering.
September 15, 2005