Nanoparticle-enhanced DNA detection

ULTRAPLACAD will develop and validate a new plasmonic system for minimal-invasive colorectal cancer diagnosis based on the ultrasensitive analysis of nucleic acids and protein biomarkers circulating in human blood. ULTRAPLACAD will detect genomic DNAs and microRNAs without PCR amplification and a-TAAs with an improved sensitivity with respect to conventional fluorescence detection platforms. These characteristics put ULTRAPLACAD at the forefront of molecular diagnosis technologies as an unique and up to now not existing platform for the comprehensive detection of nucleic acids and protein biomarkers in blood plasma. Moreover, if offers the advantage of reduced sample contaminations, analysis time, assay costs due to reduced complexity of assays and respective readers.

The proposed detection approach will provide ultrasensitive detection of biomolecular systems with no need for complex sample chemical modifications thus allowing direct and simple assays to be performed. Within the project a bimodal industrial prototype will be developed integrating novel surface plasmon resonance imaging and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence sensing technologies, respectively. Automated fabrication processes suitable for low cost mass production will be developed and applied to produce disposable integrated chips. Prototype will be specifically fabricated for early diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer.

In the first 18 months, the main results achieved so far are:

– NESPRI and PEFSI nanostructure geometries have been identified;

– Probes for the selected all-RAS mutations and microRNAs have been synthesized;

– Candidate antigenic peptides for a-TAA detection have been defined;

– Attomolar detection of all-RAS mutations and femtomolar detection of microRNAs have been demonstrated;

– The first version of NESPRI and PEFSI reader laboratory prototypes have been completed;

– The high-volume fabrication of nanostructured disposable chips has been demonstrated.

ULTRAPLACAD project has a duration of 42 months, please, stay updated about the upcoming project results!