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 project could improve the precision and affordability of most cancers diagnosis and aid make personalised remedy a actuality for extra sufferers.

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

Most cancers is the 2nd most common bring about of death around the globe. There were being nine.6 million most cancers-related deaths in 2018 – amounting to one in 6 deaths – and this variety is predicted to increase by 70 % over the upcoming two a long time.

When it will come to most cancers diagnosis and monitoring, a non-invasive approach regarded as liquid biopsy has the probable to outperform typical strategies these types of as strong-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a easy blood check, liquid biopsies establish DNA introduced from most cancers cells to reveal a broad variety of information about the tumour. Even so, the process is rarely made use of for diagnosis mainly because it stays laborious, inefficient and reasonably high-priced.

Enter the EU-funded Capture-U-DNA project. The scientists involved have devised a new liquid biopsy approach, which could pave the way to extra correct diagnosis and minimize the require for invasive strong-tissue biopsies.

The novel and ultra-sensitive engineering platform could also be made use of to observe sufferers extra reliably and cost”effectively, therefore paving the way towards extra personalised remedy.

‘We’ve focused on detecting of the BRAF-V600E point mutation, which is offered in a variety of most cancers kinds and has significant scientific significance for personalised treatment,’ claims project coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

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

Sounding out a new approach

At the moment, blood serum gathered in a liquid biopsy must bear polymerase chain response (PCR) in purchase to amplify rare, tiny fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the point at which they can be detected.

The Capture-U-DNA platform identifies ctDNA making use of the highly sensitive allele-distinct polymerase chain response (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that include the target mutation.

Scientists combined this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, created to detect tiny quantities of ctDNA and in a position to analyse several samples all through each individual run. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, primary to the subsequent binding of liposomes (made use of to carry drugs or other substances into entire body tissues) on the device’s floor. It is this function that alters the acoustic signal and announces the detection of target DNA.

This strategy of sensing target DNA – which avoids the require for high-priced optical pieces made use of for typical detection making use of fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Capture-U-DNA project.

Proving the theory

‘We’re at the moment in the approach of validating the engineering making use of tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung most cancers sufferers received by our scientific companion, the College of Crete,’ claims Gizeli.

‘Results so much are very promising. In the coming months, we’ll full our validation scientific studies of detecting ctDNA from patients’ samples and inside the context of liquid biopsy.’

As the developer of the new acoustic platform and sensor array, AWSensors in Spain has plans to commercialise the engineering for further more laboratory research, as perfectly as for use in the scientific area.

The project will come underneath the FET Open up Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-stage science and engineering research into radically new foreseeable future systems.