Biological Nanosensors

Faster and less painful treatment by diagnosing diseases early

The earlier the diagnosis, the earlier treatment can start. But how do you detect a disease such as cancer or Alzheimer’s before someone suffers? Scientists at MESA+ are joining forces with medical experts to diagnose diseases at an early stage.


Nanotechnology enables us to determine whether someone has a specific disease with just a tiny amount of body fluid. For example, cancer of the bladder can be detected with a single drop of urine. One drop of urine is enough for nanosensors to find biomarkers, the substances that indicate the presence of a disease. Thanks to this technology, the patient does not have to go through a long examination process, and their treatment can begin sooner and will be cheaper and less painful.


Nanotechnology also makes it possible to research brain diseases such as MS and Alzheimer’s more effectively. In the Lab-on-a-Chip research of MESA+, blood vessels and organs are cultivated on a chip – which resembles a small USB stick. The organs and blood vessels are cultured by taking cells from the patient. These cells are ‘reprogrammed’ into stem cells: cells that have the potential to grow into all sorts of different tissues, depending on how you let them grow. Scientists of MESA+ can imitate various disease models on these chips and thus study how brain diseases arise, test medication and investigate how this medication affects a patient.