Subproject 8 (P8) - Microfluidic automation

Project lead

Peter Jülg, Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung e.V.

Dr. Tobias Hutzenlaub, Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung e.V.

Project description

The main goal of OUTLIVE-CRC is to improve the prognosis and quality of life of young colorectal cancer patients using a multi-biomarker model that detects early signatures of recurrent cancer. A key aspect in OUTLIVE-CRC is the detection of cancer signatures in blood samples using the so-called liquid biopsy method. The vision behind this is to replace colonoscopy as the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening in the long term or to complement it in a stepwise diagnostic approach. Within subproject 8, Hahn-Schickard is investigating microfluidic methods that will enable the establishment of the Liquid Biopsy method in routine prevention programs. Liquid Biopsy is performed in four steps:

  1. Blood collection.
  2. Processing of the blood sample in a small test carrier (microfluidic chip).
  3. Analysis of the sample by means of multi-marker measurement.
  4. Data evaluation of the measurements by a multi-marker model (subproject 7).

If the result of the Liquid Biopsy analysis is inconspicuous, no further diagnosis (e.g. colonoscopy) is required for the time being and a follow-up appointment is made for the next Liquid Biopsy measurement. If the result is abnormal, however, further clarification is carried out in a practice or clinic. The frequent repetition of the Liquid Biopsy is intended to detect recurrences as early as possible, so that there is a better chance of recovery. Patients benefit from the point-of-care approach, as the blood sample can be taken quickly and conveniently in a local practice. In this way, the aim is to help improve the quality of life.

Participating researchers