July 13, 2024

Paull Ank Ford

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Researchers use acoustics to boost … – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Armed with a novel biosensor that uses acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA, an EU-funded project could boost the precision and affordability of cancer analysis and aid make personalised remedy a reality for far more patients.


© Giovanni Cancemi #292099202 source:stock.adobe.com 2020

Cancer is the 2nd most common induce of dying around the globe. There were being 9.six million cancer-linked deaths in 2018 – amounting to a single in six deaths – and this quantity is predicted to rise by 70 % around the future two a long time.

When it comes to cancer analysis and monitoring, a non-invasive system identified as liquid biopsy has the likely to outperform standard methods these kinds of as good-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a basic blood test, liquid biopsies determine DNA released from cancer cells to reveal a large assortment of facts about the tumour. Nevertheless, the course of action is hardly ever utilized for analysis since it stays laborious, inefficient and comparatively high priced.

Enter the EU-funded Catch-U-DNA project. The researchers involved have devised a new liquid biopsy system, which could pave the way to far more correct analysis and lower the want for invasive good-tissue biopsies.

The novel and extremely-sensitive technological innovation system could also be utilized to keep an eye on patients far more reliably and cost”effectively, therefore paving the way towards far more personalised remedy.

‘We’ve focused on detecting of the BRAF-V600E place mutation, which is introduced in a variety of cancer kinds and has significant clinical importance for personalised therapy,’ claims project coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

‘Our tactic correctly and reliably detects a one molecule of genomic DNA carrying this mutation in ten 000 ordinary DNA molecules – all in about two hours from sample to final result.’

Sounding out a new system

Presently, blood serum collected in a liquid biopsy must go through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in purchase to amplify scarce, small fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the place at which they can be detected.

The Catch-U-DNA system identifies ctDNA employing the highly sensitive allele-precise polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that contain the target mutation.

Researchers mixed this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, designed to detect small quantities of ctDNA and able to analyse numerous samples for the duration of each and every operate. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, top to the subsequent binding of liposomes (utilized to carry medicines or other substances into body tissues) on the device’s surface area. It is this party that alters the acoustic signal and announces the detection of target DNA.

This technique of sensing target DNA – which avoids the want for high priced optical pieces utilized for standard detection employing fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Catch-U-DNA project.

Proving the principle

‘We’re at this time in the process of validating the technological innovation employing tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung cancer patients attained by our clinical lover, the College of Crete,’ claims Gizeli.

‘Results so far are really promising. In the coming months, we’ll complete our validation scientific studies of detecting ctDNA from patients’ samples and within just the context of liquid biopsy.’

As the developer of the new acoustic system and sensor array, AWSensors in Spain has strategies to commercialise the technological innovation for even more laboratory study, as effectively as for use in the clinical subject.

The project comes below the FET Open Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-stage science and technological innovation study into radically new foreseeable future technologies.