ULTRAsensitive PLAsmonic devices for early CAncer Diagnosis  

The ULTRAPLACAD project, funded with 6 million euro by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, has been completed after 42 months of research. ULTRAPLACAD is 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 are combined in a single device that is expected to overcome hurdles and limitations of the available approaches. The ULTRAPLACAD project has developed assays for the detection of circulating DNA and microRNA with no need for preliminary amplification of the nucleic acid sequences. In addition, a-TAAs are detected with an improved sensitivity with respect to conventional fluorescence detection platforms.

Concept pictures of ULTRAPLACAD disposable plasmonic chip (left) and compact reader (right). – © ULTRAPLACAD

ULTRAPLACAD has developed a bimodal industrial prototype integrating novel surface plasmon resonance imaging (NESPRI) and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence (PEFSI) sensing technologies, thus providing an unique and up to now unprecedented platform for the comprehensive detection of nucleic acids and protein biomarkers in blood plasma. Automated fabrication processes suitable for low cost mass production have been also developed and applied to produce disposable integrated chips.

Start date: 01/05/2015
Duration: 42 months
EU funding: € 6.03M
H2020 Research & Innovation Action
Grant Agreement no.: 633937
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