Fast DNA Analysis for Cancer Diagnosis using FPGA-based technology

Themes: Life Science & Health, Software technology & Intelligent systems

Late prototype

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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DNA analysis is a slow and expensive process, limiting its utilization in disease diagnosis such as cancer. We design specialized computer hardware to substantially increase the speed of the analysis.


There are standard algorithms used to diagnose cancer using DNA. We design circuits that can solve these algorithms directly in hardware much more efficiently than on a general purpose computer.


We have an algorithm already running in the field with 10x speedup. A second algorithm is a prototype running 1.5x faster, and to be ready for commercialization by November.

Dr. Zaid Al-Ars


Dr. Koen Bertels

Dr. Vlad Sima