The project coordinator Giuseppe Spoto (INBB) and project manager Elena Turco (AMIRES) had the opportunity to present ULTRAPLACAD project to the editor of GenomeWeb, an independent online news organization based in New York and focused on the latest advancements in molecular biology research and molecular diagnostics. The article, entitled “European Consortium Developing Bimodal Liquid Biopsy Test for Colorectal Cancer”, was published on 20th March 2017. During the interview with the journalist Giuseppe Spoto described the project objectives, its innovative technological aspects, the Consortium of partners, their roles and the first achieved results. Elena Turco highlighted the socio-economic impact that ULTRAPLACAD will have on European citizens and presented the preliminary plan for the validation of the final solution and its introduction into the market. For more information you can read the whole article here.
The ULTRAPLACAD Newsletter number 2 is ready! It includes an overview of the project after the first 18 months, the most updated results, the work done by IPE in the development of optical biosensors and by SCRIBA in the development of the microfluidic device.
The Newsletters and their regular dissemination will help to maintain the visibility of the project during its whole duration (42 months), create awareness and expectations regarding the final results and inform the target audience about advances made in the project.
After the submission to the European Commission of the reports describing the activities performed by the partners during the first 18 months, the project ULTRAPLACAD is halfway, with important results already achieved.
The project started with the identification of technical specifications of ULTRAPLACAD final industrial prototype. ULTRAPLACAD is focused at developing a plasmonic-based device with integrated nanostructures for the detection of mutated DNAs, microRNAs and tumor autoantibodies (a-TAAs). The detection of all these molecular cancer biomarkers freely circulating in blood of colorectal cancer patients will be combined in a single device that is expected to overcome hurdles and limitations of the currently available approaches.
In the first 18 months, nanostructure geometries for the novel surface plasmon resonance imaging (NESPRI) and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence (PEFSI) sensing technologies were identified. Probes for the selected all-RAS mutations and microRNAs have been synthesized and candidate antigenic peptides for a-TAA detection have been defined. ULTRAPLACAD will detect genomic DNA and microRNA with no need for preliminary amplification of the nucleic acid sequences. In addition, a-TAAs will be detected with an improved sensitivity with respect to conventional fluorescence detection platforms. Attomolar detection of all-RAS mutations and femtomolar detection of microRNAs have been already demonstrated. ULTRAPLACAD will develop a bimodal industrial prototype and the first version of NESPRI and PEFSI reader laboratory prototypes have been completed. Automated fabrication processes suitable for low cost mass production will be developed in the project and high-volume fabrication of nanostructured disposable chips has been already demonstrated.
ULTRAPLACAD project has a duration of 42 months, please, stay updated about the upcoming project results!
The article entitled “A compact device to detect the early signs of cancer” is published on 16th September 2016 in the section “Success stories” of the “What’s new on the EC’s Research & Innovation web site” Newsletter (week 38, 2016). Please, download here the PDF version.
Congratulation to ULTRAPLACAD project, success story in the field of early minimal-invasive cancer detection!
Two peer reviewed papers from ULTRAPLACAD project were published in April-May in two international Journals: Elsevier, Talanta, The International Journal of Pure (DOI: 10.1016/j.talanta.2016.05.023) and Applied Analytical Chemistry and Spandidos Publications, International Journal of Oncology (DOI: 10.3892/ijo.2016.3503).
The ULTRAPLACAD peer-reviewed articles are published in OPEN ACCESS repositories. The project website is also used as open access repository and the papers are available in .pdf format under the webpage “Results/Scientific publications”. Enjoy reading!
Congratulations to all the authors!
The 12 month meeting of ULTRAPLACAD project was held on 27th – 28th April 2016 at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
Prof. Jiři Homola from the Institute of Photonics and Electronics warmly welcomed the project team and the External Advisory Board (EAB) members Mrs. Jola Gore-Booth (EuropaColon), Prof. Maurizio Ferrari (IFCC), and Dr. Patrice M. Milos (Claritas Genomics). In the first day, the external experts had the opportunity to hear about the achievements of ULTRAPLACAD project, presented by the different partners. In the afternoon, a session was dedicated to the EAB recommendations to partners, mainly focused on the impact that the project will have on the society and on the market. As usual, technical discussions occurred to take decisions and agree on next actions. Finally, specific sessions on Open Access publications and on Exploitation and IPR strategies were attended by all the partners. Again the meeting was characterized by a collaborative and proactive behaviour of all the participants.
The 6 month meeting of ULTRAPLACAD project was held on 15th and 16th October 2015 at the Tech Gate building, UNO city area in Vienna.
Prof Dr. Wolfgang Knoll, Dr. Jakub Dostalek and all the group from the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) warmly welcomed the project team, including the new multidisciplinary members of the Consortium, recently hired by different partners’ organizations. The meeting, with several open discussions, was extremely useful for the definition of the next steps and the specifications for the development of each project component. An introduction to exploitation aspects was also provided during the meeting, highlighting once again the impact that ULTRAPLACAD will have on society, on the market and on scientific community. Social events were organized, encouraging team building, making the meeting’s environment comfortable and the discussions productive.
The European Commission runs the third edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators to reward three women who have achieved outstanding innovations and brought them to market. The first prize is worth €100 000, the second prize €50 000 and third prize €30 000. The contest is open to all women residing in the EU or associated countries who have founded or co-founded a company across all sectors and who have at some point of their careers benefitted from EU’s research and innovation funding. The deadline for submitting application is on 20 October 2015. A high-level jury will evaluate and select the three winners who will be announced in 2016. Please read the leaflet for more information. ULTRAPLACAD supports the European Union initiatives to promote gender equality and encourages the scientific women’s participation to the EU Prize for Women Innovators.
The project coordinator was invited as speaker of the roundtable “Critical and success factors and as a result of the first calls for Social Challenge 1” organized by APRE (Italian National Contact Point) on 6th October in Rome during the National Info Day (SC1), Health, demographic change and well-being: Calls 2016-17 in Horizon 2020. Follow the event here.