HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Baltimore, Maryland, USA or Virtually from your home or work.
Michael Thompson, Speaker at Cancer Conferences
University of Toronto, Canada


Detection of gynecological disorders of female reproductive organs, especially forms of cancer, typically involves screening of symptoms for the illnesses, followed by imaging with ultrasound or MRI. These techniques are time consuming and require trained professionals to perform, and thus are expensive and difficult to apply to general population screening. Faster, lower cost, and simple screening methods need to be developed as screening is essential to detecting these illnesses in an early stage, allowing their more effective treatment and improving outcomes for patients. The realm of sensor and biosensor technology offers a potential protocol for such large scale screening of blood, tissue, intertidal fluid and urine-based biomarkers for gynecological cancers. Devices based on luminescence, electrochemistry, acoustic wave, and surface plasmon resonance involving surface-attached enzyme, immunological and nucleic acid probes have figured predominantly in terms of biomarker detection. The main aim of research in this area appears to be targeted at either the typical central clinical biochemistry or point-of-care assay. A highly attractive possibility with regard to the former would be the incorporation of a biosensor into the conventional automated robotic system to process and test patient samples. Such a technology would require device reversible signalling or flow-through cleaning, appropriate sensitivity and, critically, the capability of operation in a biological fluid.  The reality is that the issue of fouling by components of such fluids has constituted a major problem for the practical application of sensors for many years.

Biosensor-based detection of ovarian cancer has been by the most studied in the gynaecological oncology field. This activity appears to have been spawned by the realization that early-stage detection of the disease can potentially result in a high level of patient survival.

Audience Take Away:

  • How biosensor technology can employed for potentially large-scale screening of cancer biomarkers.
  • Assessment of biosensors with regard to device efficacy in gynecological cancer detection.
  • Example of biosensor for early-stage detection of ovarian cancer.


Professor Michael Thompson obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Wales, UK and his PhD in analytical chemistry from McMaster University. Following a period as Science Research Council PDF at Swansea University he was appointed Lecturer in Instrumental Analysis at Loughborough University. He then moved to the University of Toronto where he is now Professor of Bioanalytical Chemistry. He has held a number of distinguished research posts including the Leverhulme Fellowship at the University of Durham and the Science Foundation Ireland E.T.S Walton Research Fellowship at the Tyndall National Institute, Cork City. He is recognized internationally for his pioneering work over many years in the area of research into new biosensor technologies and the surface chemistry of biochemical and biological entities. He has made major contributions to the label-free detection of immunochemical and nucleic acid interactions and surface behavior of cells using ultra high frequency acoustic wave physics. Recently, scanning Kelvin nanoprobe detection has been introduced which offers the multiplexed detection of biochemical phenomena. Thompson has served on the Editorial Boards of a number of major international journals including Analytical Chemistry, The Analyst, Talanta, Analytica Chimica Acta and Biosensors and Bioelectronics. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the monograph series “Detection Science” for the Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. He has been awarded many prestigious international prizes for his research including The Robert Boyle Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, E.W.R. Steacie Award of the Chemical Society of Canada, the Theophilus Redwood Award of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Fisher Scientific Award in Analytical Chemistry of the Chemical Society of Canada. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999.