Title: Development of clinical microfluidics towards commercialization
Speaker: Emre Ozkumur
Date/Time: 17.02.16, 13:40
Place: FENS G015
Abstract: Microfluidics are attractive tools for manipulation and separation of micro-particles, since they tend to have higher sensitivity and specificity than the bulk separation methods. Biomedical applications target cell separation from bodily fluids, often from the blood, but fail to translate into clinic either because of reliability and repeatability, or simply because of limited blood processing capacity. Specifically in the case of isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients’ peripheral blood stream, the challenge is immense: 1 to 100 cells in a tube of blood with 50 billion other cells. We have developed an integrated microfluidic system, leading to world’s most sensitive CTC isolator, and demonstrated the proof-of-concept clinical utilization for CTCs. In the process of developing an extremely challenging clinical application, we have identified other clinical applications for the state-of-the-art microfluidic technologies we developed, and started a company, MicroMedicine, in order to pursue the commercialization potential of these tools. Company has recently secured a notable investment round and started operations in December 2015. Products are currently in development for diagnostics (of infections), for therapy (Bone Marrow & Hematopoetic Progenitor Cells for grafting and transplant), and for clinical research (Stem Cell isolation and Leukocyte preparation).
The talk will encompass the description of transforming basic research ideas to clinical utilization, focusing on the CTC sorting application, followed by a short description of other clinical applications and experience with our high-tech start-up so far.
BIO: Emre Özkumur has received his bachelor degrees from Koç University in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Physics. He has completed his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, at Boston University’s Photonics Center, where he worked on biophotonics and biosensors. Later, he joined the Center for Engineering in Medicine of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, where he developed a microfluidic rare cell isolation device. The method has attracted funding from Johnson & Johnson for further development by the same team towards commercialization.
Dr. Özkumur’s research is focused on innovative methods and devices for medicine and life sciences; optical and microfluidic tools for manipulation and detection of biomolecules and cells; microfluidic systems for processing of blood and other cells for applications in clinical research, prognostics and therapeutics.
Contact: Meltem Elitaş