Mesa+ Meeting

1Early diagnostics of diseases, chaired by Guus Rijnders

2Unconventional electronics, chaired by Wilfred van der Wiel

3Storage of renewable energy, chaired by prof.dr. Guido Mul

4Science for security, chaired by prof.dr. Pepijn Pinkse

Early Diagnostics of Diseases

Chair: Guus Rijnders


Screening for diseases such as cancer could require nothing more than a finger prick, by analyzing a tiny drop of blood. It will allow physicians to diagnose the disease in an early stage, and as a result effective treatment can start. Such early detection requires very sensitive biosensors. 

In the past decade, both micro- and nanotechnology has accelerated the development of such biosensors, resulting in analytical and diagnostic lab-on-a-chip systems, which combine sample loading, delivery, sample preparation through mixing with reagents, and sensing components. Such systems, capable of performing diagnostic tests with low sample consumption and fast analysis, are a natural fit for point-of-care use, that is, diagnostics performed near the patient without the use of a clinical lab. It is expected that this will modernize future healthcare. Future early diagnostics applications, however, rely on the development of new innovative technologies for fabrication of biosensors as well as further understanding of their detection principles.

This session will give an overview of sensor based early diagnostics activities in MESA+ and its direct surroundings. Listeners will be stimulated to look for overlap in their own research activities, also in the light of interesting funding possibilities for early diagnostics-related research.



Introduction by Guus Rijnders


Jurriaan Huskens (MNF)

Interfacing transducers to the bio world


Loes Segerink (BIOS Lab-on-a-chip)

Nanopil 2.0 for early cancer diagnostics


Ruud Steenwelle (IMS)

Sensors for breath analysis


Sonia García Blanco (OS)

Optical sensing




Nanochemistry for biosensing – Jurriaan Huskens (Molecular NanoFabrication)

Chemistry plays an important role in biosensing. Primarily, it provides the interface between the sensing device and the analyte, thus controlling key parameters such as selectivity and sensitivity. Additionally, chemistry can play a rol in the functionalization of devices to control, for example, nonspecific adsorption.

Nanopil 2.0 for early cancer diagnostics – Loes Segerink (BIOS Lab-on-a-chip)

In the Netherlands more than 100 000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Hypermethylated DNA can be used as biomarker for different cancers. At MESA+ sensors, such as the nanowire, nanocantilever and nanogap, are developed to detect this biomarker.

Sensors for breath analysis – Ruud Steenwelle (Inorganic Materials Science)

More and more evidence indicates a link exists between exhaled VOCs and a multitude of diseases such as diabetes, asthma/COPD or lung cancer. An increase the sensitivity and specificity for the detection of VOCs by Nanocantilever electronic nose would reveal the hidden potential of the electronic nose for breath analysis.

Optical sensing – Sonia García Blanco (OS)

Optical sensors present many advantages. They are electromagnetic immune (EMI-free), electrically passive and can provide high detection sensitivity to many measurands. Free space optical systems most commonly used, however, are typically bulky and require frequent re-alignments. Leveraging on the success of integrated optics in telecommunications over the last decades, integrated optical sensors have emerged for applications where size, weight, cost, stability and robustness are important. Many integrated optical sensors have been developed based on optical path length changes, variations in absorption and luminescence or shifts in resonant frequency. Integrated optical sensors are therefore very suitable for early diagnostics of diseases.

In this presentation, an overview of the optical sensor to be developed in the H2020 project GLAM for the detection of cancer biomarkers will be given.