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

Armed with a novel biosensor that works by using acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA, an EU-funded challenge could enhance the precision and affordability of most cancers prognosis and enable make personalised treatment method a actuality for extra individuals. © Giovanni Cancemi #292099202 source:inventory.adobe.com 2020 Cancer is the 2nd most […]

Armed with a novel biosensor that works by using acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA, an EU-funded challenge could enhance the precision and affordability of most cancers prognosis and enable make personalised treatment method a actuality for extra individuals.


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

Cancer is the 2nd most widespread bring about of death worldwide. There ended up 9.six million most cancers-similar deaths in 2018 – amounting to just one in six deaths – and this quantity is predicted to increase by 70 % over the future two many years.

When it arrives to most cancers prognosis and checking, a non-invasive method recognised as liquid biopsy has the potential to outperform conventional techniques this sort of as reliable-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a basic blood take a look at, liquid biopsies establish DNA launched from most cancers cells to expose a huge range of information about the tumour. However, the technique is almost never applied for prognosis simply because it stays laborious, inefficient and comparatively expensive.

Enter the EU-funded Capture-U-DNA challenge. The researchers involved have devised a new liquid biopsy method, which could pave the way to extra accurate prognosis and decrease the have to have for invasive reliable-tissue biopsies.

The novel and extremely-delicate technology system could also be applied to watch individuals extra reliably and cost”effectively, thereby paving the way towards extra personalised treatment method.

‘We’ve centered on detecting of the BRAF-V600E place mutation, which is presented in several most cancers varieties and has significant medical importance for personalised therapy,’ says challenge coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

‘Our approach successfully and reliably detects a solitary molecule of genomic DNA carrying this mutation in 10 000 typical DNA molecules – all in about two hrs from sample to consequence.’

Sounding out a new method

At the moment, blood serum collected in a liquid biopsy should undertake polymerase chain response (PCR) in get to amplify uncommon, very small fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the place at which they can be detected.

The Capture-U-DNA system identifies ctDNA utilizing the extremely delicate allele-distinct polymerase chain response (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that comprise the concentrate on mutation.

Researchers merged this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, created to detect very small quantities of ctDNA and able to analyse multiple samples throughout each individual run. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, major to the subsequent binding of liposomes (applied to carry drugs or other substances into entire body tissues) on the device’s floor. It is this occasion that alters the acoustic signal and announces the detection of concentrate on DNA.

This strategy of sensing concentrate on DNA – which avoids the have to have for expensive optical sections applied for conventional detection utilizing fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Capture-U-DNA challenge.

Proving the theory

‘We’re currently in the method of validating the technology utilizing tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung most cancers individuals obtained by our medical partner, the College of Crete,’ says Gizeli.

‘Results so considerably are incredibly promising. In the coming months, we’ll finish our validation scientific tests of detecting ctDNA from patients’ samples and inside of the context of liquid biopsy.’

As the developer of the new acoustic system and sensor array, AWSensors in Spain has options to commercialise the technology for more laboratory investigation, as perfectly as for use in the medical field.

The challenge arrives under the FET Open up Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-stage science and technology investigation into radically new upcoming systems.

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