Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo


Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

The company is developing an inexpensive microfluidic chip that can rapidly process a single drop of blood in 10 minutes to separate out proteins that act as health markers. The chip was developed by Hood and James Heath, a professor of chemistry at Caltech and another cofounder of Integrated Diagnostics. A key part of the chip is a second technology licensed by the company and developed by Heath: protein fragments called peptides that capture blood proteins of interest. These capture agents are more stable and cheaper to manufacture than the antibodies that are usually used for such tests.

The company has also licensed a large database of organ-specific proteins amassed by researchers at the Institute for Systems Biology. The advantage of the organ-specific approach, says Kearny, is that it will allow a doctor to determine not just what a disease is but where it’s causing problems. If a breast cancer recurs and metastasizes to the lungs, for example, that organ will shed proteins in the blood that could help doctors detect the tumor location with a blood test.

Current versions of the diagnostic technology being tested in clinical trials at the University of California, Los Angeles, monitor 35 blood proteins in order to evaluate patients’ responses to treatment for aggressive brain and skin cancers. The tests require only a single drop of blood and 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Integrated Diagnostics has not yet announced which diseases its products will target. Possibilities include central-nervous-system disorders such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and brain cancer. Hood’s lab has amassed a database of proteins in the blood that come from the brain and can be used to detect these diseases early and follow their progression.

Kearny says the company will spend the next three years developing its first products.

1 comment. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Biomedicine, Business, cancer, startups, diagnostics, microfluidics, diseases, Integrated Diagnostics, systems biology, neurodegenerative disease, neurodegenerative

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives


Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me