Tiny technology

Tiny technology

Queen’s researcher forms international partnership with Australian firm

By Anne Craig

June 9, 2016


Researcher Richard Oleschuk and Trajan Scientific and Medical (Trajan) in Australia are collaborating on the development of the next generation of biochemical instrumentation that will improve the detection of diseases such as cancer.

Dr. Oleschuk (Chemistry) has developed a microscopic straw-shaped glass instrument that can efficiently generate and spray nanometer-sized droplets into spectrometers capable of analyzing biomarkers.

It might look large but this is a photo of the microfluidic shower head developed in the Oleschuk lab. It's approximately the diameter of a few human hairs.

“Our lab is working to allow researchers to detect biomarkers at concentrations below the equivalent of a couple of tablets dissolved in an Olympic-sized swimming pool,” says Dr. Oleschuk. “We are essentially making shower heads smaller than a human hair wide using ultra fine glass tubes. We are excited to form this partnership and expand our research.”

The framework for the commercialization of Dr. Oleschuk’s technology is being established through PARTEQ Innovations, the university’s technology transfer organization.

Development of the technology and additional research will be conducted in the Kingston Nano-Fabrication Laboratory, a CFI-funded lab located at Innovation Park, and in collaboration with Université Laval in Quebec City. 

“The collaboration between Queen’s (working in co-operation with Université Laval) and Trajan will enable the translation and transfer of research outcomes from bench to bedside,” says Dr. Steven Liss Vice-Principal (Research). “It will also promote new, and enhance existing, research programs that expand our research strengths and our international impact. Importantly, these opportunities arise from the investments in research through NSERC and CFI infrastructure, the support we are able to provide for industry partnerships, technology transfer and international engagement, and our excellent faculty and their collaborators.”

PhD candidate Kyle Bachus played a large role in the project, optimizing protocols and procedures and working directly with Oleschuk’s academic collaborators at Université Laval.

“A partnership such as the one being established with Université Laval and Trajan opens many doors for not only me, but for the entire Oleschuk research group whether it be present or future members,” says Mr. Bachus. “It generates a direct avenue for myself and my co-researchers to the industrial side of scientific research and offers significant career opportunities. Not only this, but it is extremely valuable to have such exposure to the entire process of signing non-disclosure agreements to filing provisional patents to the signing of commercial partnerships.”

The next steps in the process include moving towards commercialization testing and refinement.

For more information visit the Trajan website.

Arts and Science