Falling Walls Venture impression 2
Chemotherapy is a blunt approach to cancer treatment, using a sledgehammer where a scalpel is needed. Blasting regions of the body with radiation may eliminate most tumor cells, but those that survive emerge even stronger, made more dangerous by genetic mutations. In many cases, these mutations can lead to multi-drug resistance, rendering other treatment options ineffective. The Ankara-based Mikro Biyosistemler incorporates microfluidic technology to screen cancer patients for drug resistant tumor cells, leading to early diagnoses that drastically improve the long-term prognosis. “There is no standard technique for low-cost and efficient multi-drug resistant cell detection,” explains company co-founder Haluk Kulah. Mikro Biyosistemler’s technology uses differential electrical potentials of drug-resistant and “normal” cells to first trap – and later quantify – the most threatening constituents. Perhaps most importantly, the isolated cells remain viable, potentially allowing for down-stream analyses of genetic potential, protein expression, or metabolite profiling. Such experiments could lead to indivudalized treatment scenarios, incorporating a patient’s genetic profile to customize drug treatments. This sort of early detection of drug resistant threats can avoid many of the ravaging effects of chemotherapy, a debilitating, costly, drawn-out process.