LabTech & Diagnosis

A key European player in biotechnologies

Cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease are major public health issues, on a human, sanitary, social, and economic level. Diagnosing illnesses, devising appropriate therapies for each patient, and facilitating their care requires efficient and adequate tools.

In Europe, Switzerland has set itself apart as one of the prime locations to develop activities in the sector of biotechnologies and laboratory technologies. The quality of its infrastructure, level of competitiveness, quality of life, and flexibility of its labor laws – associated with a pool of qualified personnel trained in its universities and institutes of higher education – make it an ideal environment.

In the canton of Vaud, the wealth and diversity of laboratory technologies, both at academic and private institutes, feeds into an ecosystem that promotes high-level innovation. The concentration and burgeoning of competencies in the fields of engineering, microfluidics, optics, biomaterials, and molecular biology has generated a unique synergy for the research and development of new analysis and diagnostic procedures. Companies with significant potential, such as Lunaphore and Abionic, have emerged from this fertile environment.

By way of an example, the Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering (LSCB) at the EPFL can be seen as a pioneer in this field. It is attempting to discover the mechanisms which govern the fate of stem cells and control the micro-environment which surrounds them to encourage them, amongst other things, to form mini-organs.

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