What to expect from the Diagnostic Technologies Summit 2018

What to expect from the Diagnostic Technologies Summit
The role of medical devices in healthcare systems is essential, and, with new approvals, the diagnostic technology sector is growing now more than ever. © iStock/everythingpossible

The Diagnostic Technologies Summit 2018 is the place to be for all those interested in microfluidics, PCR and human healthcare. Global Engage previews what to expect.

The role of medical devices in healthcare systems is essential, and, with new approvals, the diagnostic technology sector is growing now more than ever. The microfluidic and PCR (polymerase chain reaction) sectors both hold great promise for the development of human healthcare and as such will form the basis of the Diagnostic Technologies Summit.


With the latest advancements in lab-on-a-chip microfabrications, 3D printers, and micro-electromechanical systems, microfluidic technology is set to revolutionise the way patients are diagnosed, monitored, and treated. The microfluidic sector currently faces challenges with the development of 3D printing and the reliability of these devices. By bringing together experts, we hope to explore the strategies and applications of current microfluidic technologies.

qPCR and dPCR

There have also been recent advances and strategies in quantitative PCR (qPCR) and digital PCR (dPCR) across areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, vaccines, clinical applications, and microbiology. Challenges occur as PCR and qPCR create uncertainties and inaccuracies in their results. dPCR, however, has been shown to be a promising surveillance tool for illnesses such as cancer. dPCR offers far greater sensitivity and accuracy in the results. Due to these advancements in PCR, the industry is thriving.

Overall, the diagnostic technologies sector holds great promise for advancement in human healthcare.

The Diagnostic Technologies Summit 2018

With these recent advancements in mind, Global Engage is pleased to announce the 2018 Diagnostic Technologies Summit. The summit will be bringing together over 180 industry and academic experts in both microfluidics and PCR.

It will be held on 13-14 September 2018 in San Francisco, USA, and is part of our successful life science technologies series with a sister event in Europe in December.

What to expect from the presentations

Presentations will cover the latest developments and strategies in qPCR and dPCR and microfluidics across areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, vaccines, clinical applications, nanotechnology, biotechnology, lab-on-a-chip fabrication, and microbiology. The two-day summit features 57 contributions across five streams exploring:

Digital PCR: possibilities and opportunities

  • Introduction, benefits, and future developments of dPCR;
  • Comparing dPCR to qPCR;
  • Converting to dPCR and choosing your system;
  • Digital PCR workflow optimisation;
  • Data analysis tools;
  • Validation of dPCR for clinical and research use;
  • Complementing dPCR with other technologies, including next-generation sequencing (NGS);
  • Multiplexing in dPCR;
  • Detection of rare/patient-specific mutations;
  • Applications for precision medicine; and
  • Challenges of reproducibility/standardisation.

qPCR: strategies and developments

  • Developments in qPCR methods;
  • MIQE guidelines and standardisation;
  • qPCR/RT-PCR assay design, optimisation, and validation;
  • Sample preparation;
  • Dealing with false positives and other quality control measures;
  • Detection, quantification, and sequencing of RNA;
  • Automation of qPCR methods;
  • Bioinformatics and data analysis;
  • Methods for multiplexing;
  • Combining qPCR with other technologies;
  • Point-of-care diagnostics developments;
  • Moving technologies from the lab to the clinic; and
  • Challenges of reproducibility.

Microfluidics: strategy and technology

  • Lab-on-a-chip microfabrication;
  • Substrate development (silicon, glass, paper, and polymer);
  • 3D printing;
  • Digital microfluidics;
  • Electrokinetics and electrohydrodynamics;
  • Acoustofluidics and optofluidics;
  • Droplet microfluidics;
  • Centrifugal microfluidics; and
  • Advances in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Diagnostic case studies

  • Companion diagnostics;
  • Point-of-care studies;
  • Clinical test validation;
  • Liquid biopsies;
  • CTC/ctDNA/cfDNA/mtDNA-based testing;
  • Disease monitoring;
  • High-throughput screening;
  • Single cell analysis;
  • Biomarker discovery;
  • Micro-RNA/ncRNA/siRNA applications;
  • Mutation detection;
  • Therapy response monitoring;
  • Rare variant detection;
  • Early relapse detection; and
  • Bioreactors.

Panel discussions: challenges of clinical implementation

  • Practical restrictions;
  • Reliability considerations;
  • FDA approval process;
  • What applications are ready for which technologies; and
  • Case study evidence/clinical trials.

Who’s speaking at the event?

We will be welcoming over 40 expert speakers who specialise in lab-on-a-chip microfabrications, 3D printers, micro-electromechanical systems, oncology, infectious diseases, vaccines, clinical applications and microbiology. A snapshot of our speakers is provided below.

Luke Lee, Arnold and Barbara Silverman Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of the Biomedical Institute of Global Healthcare Research & Technology, will be opening the congress by sharing his research on personalised medicine through microfluidic biosensors and point-of-care diagnostics.

Carl Wittwer, medical director of Immunologic Flow Cytometry at Associated Regional and University Pathologists, Salt Lake City, Utah, will share a presentation on rapid diagnostics and the extreme PCR and high-speed melting.

Adela Ben-Yakar, Mr N Doug Williams Memorial Centennial Fellow in Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, focuses her research on large-scale microfluidic systems for high-throughput screenings of C. elegans disease models and regeneration studies.

Juan Santiago, director of the Stanford Microfluidics Laboratory, California, will be speaking on separating and analysing nuclear versus cytoplasmic nucleic acids from single cells.

Ashleigh Theberge, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of Washington, studies cell signalling in complex environments using open microfluidics – the manipulation of fluids with at least one open air interface.

Hestia Mellert, director of molecular development at Biodesix, will speak on the development, commercialisation, and on-market improvement of liquid diagnostic tests in
lung cancer.

As well as listening to these experts present on their research, we will also provide an interactive networking forum to answer your queries.

Aims of the event

The comprehensive agenda has been designed to provide experts with an exceptional interdisciplinary environment in which to debate the key issues facing them today.

Covering the developments in microfluidics, qPCR, and dPCR, this summit will bring together over 180 industry and academic experts to keep you up to date with cutting-edge research in new diagnostic technologies. The conference will provide an interactive networking forum to both further develop and answer your queries through an exhibition room full of technology providers showcasing their technologies and other solutions in dedicated poster presentation sessions.

This meeting will give you the opportunity to make lasting connections with academics, entrepreneurs and businesses in your field.

The 4Bio Summit

If you are unable to join us in San Francisco for the Diagnostic Technologies Summit, why not join us at the 4Bio Summit in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in November. The 4Bio Summit will feature research and technology developments in the fields of qPCR/dPCR, NGS, microfluidics, and gene editing. Scientific advancements coupled with cost reductions in these four areas of research have contributed to the improved diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of disease.

With similar and shared methods across the four main themes of the meeting, the 4Bio Summit will provide a multidisciplinary forum in which to discover crossover in your research. Attend the latest cutting-edge talks, network with your peers, and discover solutions to the whole spectrum of your research all in one location.

For more information on the Diagnostic Technologies Summit, take a look at the agenda or see our upcoming conferences on our website.

Global Engage
The Diagnostic Technologies Summit

This article will appear in issue 5 of Health Europa Quarterly, which will be published in May.

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