1 June 2015 Measuring life: sensors and analytics for precision medicine
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The first industrial revolution focused on machines, the second one was data-centric - a third revolution combining the power of devices and information has just started and transforms our understanding of life itself. Thereby novel sensors and networks from wearable biometric devices to lab-on-a-chip platforms for exploratory fundamental research on single-biomolecule characterization and design occupy a key role. In combination with recent advances in big data analytics for life sciences, healthcare and genomics such sensors are essential tools for moving from fast and cheap personalized DNA-sequencing via smart genomics towards one-off prevention and treatment plans. Replacing state-of-the-art, one-fits-all approaches, this paradigm shifting individual "assess & response" scheme commonly referred to as precision medicine merges biomedical engineering, systems biology, systems genomics, and information technology. Integrated sensors for isolating, investigating and eventually manipulating single biomolecules are important experimental tools for developing next-generation DNA-sequencing platforms and for conducting ‘omics research which is a defining part of systems biology. In that context resistive pulse sensing has emerged as a powerful technology at the intersection of biotechnology and nanotechnology allowing electrical, label-free screening of biological compounds such as proteins or DNA with single-molecule, single-nucleotide and even single binding site resolution. Resistive pulse sensing technology has been at the center of recent commercial $100Ms investments in the next-generation DNA-sequencing sector. While next-generation sequencing platforms based on resistive pulse sensing techniques will mature further, the technology is also increasingly used for screening other biomolecules such as for example proteins. This allows for developing novel diagnostics and ultra-high throughput pre-clinical drug screening systems which might help to transform the pharma pipeline similarly to how the $1000-genome has revolutionized DNA-sequencing.
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Stefan Harrer, Stefan Harrer, "Measuring life: sensors and analytics for precision medicine", Proc. SPIE 9518, Bio-MEMS and Medical Microdevices II, 951802 (1 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178956; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178956

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