May 11, 2007

Micro- and Nano-Systems Lab receives $4.25 million from Ontario Research Fund

By Faculty of Engineering

    Jamal Deen, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Canada Research Chair in Information Technology at McMaster. File photo.
The Government of Ontario has announced a $4.25-million grant from the Ontario Research Fund to support the new micro- and nano-systems laboratory being established at McMaster University.

The $10.6 million lab will further research into the development of miniaturized, low-cost and easy-to-use prototypes for imaging and sensing in healthcare and environmental applications.

"We are essentially engineering miniature labs that can be swallowed like a pill, injected through a catheter, or deployed in the field," said Jamal Deen, the lead applicant, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Canada Research Chair in Information Technology at McMaster. "Their function is to screen for, detect, and potentially treat cancer and other diseases when they are still at a single-cell size in early development stages. They will also detect harmful pathogens in food and water."

Engineering faculty at McMaster are working closely with their colleagues in health sciences on this research, as well as with researchers at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo and Calgary, McGill University, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Research Council.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation lab announced a grant of $4.25 million to assist in the establishment of the lab in late 2006. The remainder of the cost to establish the lab will come from industry partners and the University.

The lab will be housed in the new engineering building under construction at McMaster. It will occupy approximately 9,600 square feet of space and include a clean room, bonding and packaging facilities, characterization facilities, and prototyping and testing.