Shrinking entire medical labs onto chips with the help of nanotechnology

Monday, November 26, 2018 Research News
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New collaboration centre created by the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto

TORONTO, Nov. 26, 2018 /CNW/ - Today, surrounded by industry leaders, researchers and students, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the
University of Toronto
(U of T) celebrated the opening of the Centre for Research and Application in Fluidic Technologies (CRAFT). CRAFT will be a national innovation hub for in vitro diagnostics, regenerative medicine and precision medicine.

Discoveries and advances at CRAFT will benefit clinicians and patients, reducing costs for the Canadian medical system and providing advanced care to those who need it. They will lead to scientific publications, patents, and the commercialization of advanced health technology. This new collaboration will also assist Canadian medical devices and manufacturing industries, making them more competitive internationally.

Projects at CRAFT will apply microfluidic technologies to tackle:

  • in vitro diagnostics – the rapid diagnosis of diseases using clinical samples (blood, urine, etc.), shrinking what now takes entire medical laboratories onto one small chip
  • organ-on-a-chip engineering – re-creating the physiology of entire human organs on small devices to test the precise physiological responses of organs to medicines, for research and for personalized medicine
  • bioprinting – printing biological tissues for personalized regenerative medicine

Quick facts

  • The Centre for Research and Application in Fluidic Technologies combines University of Toronto and National Research Council of Canada resources and personnel to make a team of highly qualified people, students and postdoctoral researchers, which will grow in time and success.
  • The National Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto are world leaders in microfluidics: the precise control of tiny amounts of fluids. This is done thanks to nanoscale plastic structures manufactured by both organizations in highly specialized fabrication facilities.
  • Projects at the Centre for Research and Application in Fluidic Technologies will be managed by more than 25 University of Toronto students and postdoctoral researchers who will be co-mentored by University of Toronto and National Research Council scientists and engineers.


"By partnering with academia, the NRC is advancing scientific knowledge and health technology. This national innovation hub will support Canada's medical device manufacturing sector, strengthen the economy and improve the health of Canadians for years to come." The Honourable Navdeep Bains  Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Close collaboration between the National Research Council of Canada and partners, such as universities, organization and other government departments, in common research areas will advance knowledge and support Canada's regional and national economies." Iain Stewart    President, National Research Council of Canada

"This partnership between the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto will lead to discoveries and advances in microfluidic research, accelerating the development and commercialization of biomedical technologies that will benefit Canadians and the Canadian healthcare system. The interactions with leading NRC scientists and U of T researchers will provide invaluable applied research experience and unique training opportunities for our students and young investigators." Prof. Vivek Goel    Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Toronto

About National Research Council collaboration centres The Centre for Research and Application in Fluidic Technologies is one of many of the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) collaboration centres to come. To connect the innovation ecosystem, the NRC is co-locating researchers and equipment with partners to create collaboration centres anchored in research themes of shared mutual interest. Located at either an NRC or a partner's research facility, researchers from both organizations will share access to specialized equipment, work side by side on collaborative projects, and provide training opportunities for young scientists.

About the National Research Council of Canada The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization. It is a key part of the Innovation and Skills Plan and of Budget 2018's commitment to supporting Canada's researchers to build a more innovative economy. To help position Canada as a global leader, the NRC is increasing its collaboration with regional ecosystems and with universities, polytechnic institutions and colleges, and establishing collaboration centres across the country.

About the University of Toronto Established in 1827, the University of Toronto is Canada's largest university, recognized as a global leader in research and teaching. The university consistently ranks among the top 25 universities in the world. Its distinguished faculty, institutional record of ground-breaking scholarship and wealth of innovative academic opportunities continually attract outstanding academics and students from around the world and across its three campuses.

Twitter: @nrc_cnrc Instagram: @nrc_cnrc

Twitter: @UofT   Facebook: University of Toronto


SOURCE National Research Council Canada

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