Grant accelerates McMaster University, SQI Diagnostics effort to move infection testing innovation from lab to market

14-Apr-2021 10:05 AM EDT, by McMaster University

Newswise — HAMILTON, ON, April 14, 2021A new grant is helping McMaster engineers and a Toronto precision-medicine diagnostics company to get infection-testing technology to market while generating opportunities for students.

Last year, a research group led by Tohid Didar of McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering, working with industry researchers from SQI Diagnostics Inc., developed and successfully tested a new material to help detect critical but elusive markers of illness.

Designed as a coating for the lining of test tubes and other surfaces, the smart surface innovation improves the ability of diagnostics sensors to detect and measure the presence of cytokines, proteins the body produces as part of its immune response, permitting more accurate measurement of infections, including COVID, and cancer.

“This technology could be very useful in future pandemics, allowing researchers and clinicians to detect and identify cytokines faster and at lower cost,” Didar says. “Having the chance to save lives would be so gratifying.”

Measuring the microscopic markers in complex fluids such as blood had been a challenge until the team was able to isolate them using a surface that repels all other materials except cytokines. Measuring their presence makes it easier to understand how the body is reacting, including overreactions called cytokine “storms”.

 Didar and McMaster colleague Leyla Soleymani are working with SQI Diagnostics to scale up the technology for commercial production, after receiving a three-year, $900,000 Collaborative Research and Development grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

 The new detection method is being added to SQI’s existing technology to make it both more effective and more efficient to produce, with the eventual goal of seeking FDA and Health Canada approval for its clinical use.

 Didar and SQI’s Chief Scientific Officer Eric Brouwer say such partnerships allow manufacturers to have access to leading-edge research and development and help new technologies through the often-difficult pathway to the marketplace.

“We are investing in the future,” Brouwer says. “We are a company that makes strategic investments in innovation.”

Working together creates opportunities for researchers – especially graduate students – to apply their skills and discoveries for use in the everyday world and opens the door to internships and other employment opportunities.

 Brouwer says research and development across the field is increasingly shifting to university partnerships, which help companies such as SQI to improve their capacity for innovation, allowing them to be more competitive.


Filters close

Showing results

110 of 5639
access_time Embargo lifts in 2 days
Embargo will expire: 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT Released to reporters: 14-May-2021 2:40 PM EDT

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 20-May-2021 10:00 AM EDT The Newswise PressPass gives verified journalists access to embargoed stories. Please log in to complete a presspass application. If you have not yet registered, please Register. When you fill out the registration form, please identify yourself as a reporter in order to advance to the presspass application form.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:25 AM EDT
Access to overdose-reversing drugs declined during pandemic, researchers find
Beth Israel Lahey Health

In a new study, clinician-researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) analyzed naloxone prescription trends during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and compared them to trends in opioid prescriptions and to overall prescriptions.

Released: 14-May-2021 11:00 AM EDT
No Excuses: Stop Procrastinating on These Key Health Checks
Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan

A quick guide to the most-valuable preventive care that adults need to get scheduled, to catch up on what they may have missed during the height of the pandemic, and to address issues that the pandemic might have worsened.

Released: 13-May-2021 7:05 PM EDT
FLCCC Statement on the Irregular Actions of Public Health Agencies & the Disinformation Campaign Against Ivermectin
Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC Alliance)

FLCCC Alliance calls for whistleblower to step forward from within WHO, the FDA, the NIH, Merck, or Unitaid to counter this misrepresentation

Newswise: shutterstock_1724336896.jpg
Released: 13-May-2021 12:55 PM EDT
Kreuter receives $1.9 million in grants to increase vaccinations in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Louis

Matthew Kreuter, the Kahn Family Professor of Public Health at the Brown School, has received $1.9 million in grants to help increase COVID-19 vaccinations among Blacks in St. Louis City and County.

Released: 13-May-2021 11:35 AM EDT
COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines are Immunogenic in Pregnant and Lactating Women, Including Against Viral Variants
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

In a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center researchers evaluated the immunogenicity of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in pregnant and lactating women who received either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. They found that both vaccines triggered immune responses in pregnant and lactating women.

Released: 13-May-2021 10:30 AM EDT
Pandemic stigma: Foreigners, doctors wrongly targeted for COVID-19 spread in India
Monash University

The Indian public blamed foreigners, minority groups and doctors for the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the country during the first wave, due to misinformation, rumour and long-held discriminatory beliefs, according to an international study led by Monash University.

Released: 13-May-2021 9:15 AM EDT
28 Community Programs Receive Grants Through Penn Medicine CAREs Program
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Penn Medicine CAREs awarded grants to 28 projects, many of which aim to fill vast needs in the community created by the COVID-19 pandemic, while others seek to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Showing results

110 of 5639