Investigating new diagnostic biomarkers of glioblastoma

Investigating new diagnostic biomarkers of glioblastoma

Investigating new diagnostic biomarkers of glioblastoma using tissue-on-chip technology.
Official Title: Investigating new diagnostic biomarkers of glioblastoma using a unique tissue-on-chip platform
Lead Researcher: Dr Pedro Beltran-Alvarez
Where: Hull
When: 2021 - 2023
Funding awarded: £18,000
Research Type: glioblastoma

The main aim of this project is to identify substances that are released by brain tumours, using a pioneering “tissue-on-chip” model. To find out more about the chip technology, click here.
Dr Beltran-Alvarez: “We have developed a unique miniature device, which we call a “chip”, to keep small pieces of brain tumour “alive” for 8 days after surgery. We take spare tumour pieces, which are not needed for clinical protocols, from the operating theatre in the University of Hull Teaching Hospital into our laboratory.

“Our chip enables the continuous flow of a fluid over the tumour – the equivalent to blood – which provides the tissue with nutrients and keeps the tumour at body temperature so that cells remain viable. Importantly, the fluid that has flown over the tissue can be collected and analysed to detect molecules that have been released by the tumour into the circulating fluid.


“We hypothesise that these molecules include inflammatory markers and we have generated some pilot data to support this. If we could identify which molecules are released from brain tumour samples while maintained “on-chip”, then we may be able to help develop future research to investigate whether these substances can be used as diagnostic biomarkers of brain tumours in patients. The ultimate goal of the project is therefore to enable earlier diagnosis of brain tumours based on, for example, blood tests.”

Lead researcher: Dr Pedro Beltran-Alvarez - CLICK HERE for more information
Co-lead: Professor John Greenman - CLICK HERE for more information
Collaborator: Dr Mark Wade - CLICK HERE for more information
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