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LETU Wins $221,000 NSF Grant for Dr. Seung Kim's Research


LeTourneau University received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant award for $220,913 over three years in support of engineering professor Dr. Seung Kim's collaborative research with Texas Tech professor Dr. Jungkyu "Jay" Kim to improve early detection of disease.

The project is titled "Collaborative Research: A self-contained microfluidic optical cavity biosensing platform for multiplex label-free molecular diagnostics."

Kim is currently researching the development of an optical biosensor for early detection of diseases supported by a $400,000 five-year NSF CAREER grant.

Combined with his expertise in optical bio-detection systems and the expertise of Dr. Jay Kim at Texas Tech in microfluidic systems, the team will develop a completely self-contained and portable bio-detection platform that uses a tiny blood sample.

The grant proposal reads, "By integrating the self-contained microfluidic platform with label-free optical cavity biosensor arrays, the (researchers) will be able to perform multiplex biomarker screening without complicated sample process." Also, it reads, "by tuning the fluidic program, any types of assay protocol can be implemented without changing hardware."

The work detailed in the grant is expected transform current disease diagnosis by creating a small, portable, low-cost diagnostic tool that has the potential to revolutionize the "bench-to-bedside" research field.

"Dr. Kim's support from the National Science Foundation is an affirmation of his ground-breaking work on disease detection," said LETU Dean of Engineering Dr. Ron DeLap. "His research has the potential to not only revolutionize the process of detecting disease in countries like the United States, but will also bring much-needed technology to developing countries where access to sophisticated, medical care is limited and where early detection of disease is currently not available."

For more information about his research at LeTourneau University, please visit http://www.letu.edu/biosensors.

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