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Photos of the Day: Diagnosing Cancer in Minutes

Fri, 02/07/2014 - 10:16am
University of Washington


This prototype of a microfluidic device has both curved and straight channels for transporting tissue biopsies. The silicon material is lightweight, flexible and transparent. (Credit: U of Washington)


The mold for making a microfluidic device. Teflon tubes are inserted into a petri dish, then silicon is poured in. After the material hardens, engineers remove the disposable container and are left with an intact device. (Credit: U of Washington)


Undergraduate mechanical engineering student Chris Burfeind holds the prototype in the UW mechanical engineering lab. Burfeind built this device using flexible Teflon tubes and a petri dish. (Credit: U of Washington)


In this video, tissue biopsies first are seen moving through the transparent channels of a microfluidic device. In the second cut, an optical clearing fluid illuminates the original channels. Moving whole tissue samples through such a device is unprecedented.


In this video, a piece of tissue first is deposited into the microfluidic device by a needle that is used clinically by pathologists to take biopsy samples from patients. The tissue then is propelled down a channel, where both a stain and a wash process the tissue, simulating steps in a pathology lab. Finally, the tissue is moved along the channel and out of the device.

Read: Credit Card-Sized Device Could Help Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer in Minutes

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