Tiny biosensors being developed at UW-Milwaukee hold huge potential for human health

Many diagnostic tools are available to extract useful medical information from blood -- biomolecules such as proteins and DNA.  These tools, however, are usually expensive, tedious and time-consuming.  David Klemer, a University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) associate professor of electrical engineering and a physician, believes he has found a better way.

Klemer is developing a novel, low-cost biosensor for detection of disease that holds the potential for high sensitivity and specificity.  His unique fabrication method, similar to those used by the semiconductor industry to make computer chips, can produce an inexpensive device capable of rapid diagnosis from a patient's "molecular signature" found in a single drop of blood.

Funded by a Bradley Catalyst Grant from the UWM Research Foundation, Klemer's work was profiled in November by UWM's Laura L. Hunt.  It may help advance the field of "personalized medicine," using information in a person’s genes to predict disease before it begins and to customize treatment.  Klemer and researchers at the BloodCenter of Wisconsin are joining forces to test the device.

Through the catalyst grant program, Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports the UWM Research Foundation's efforts to provide seed funding for promising research projects at the university that have strong potential for commercialization and impact on the local economy.