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

Armed with a novel biosensor that takes advantage of acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA, an EU-funded undertaking could raise the precision and affordability of cancer prognosis and help make personalised procedure a actuality for extra sufferers.


© Giovanni Cancemi #292099202 2020

Most cancers is the next most frequent trigger of dying around the globe. There have been 9.6 million cancer-associated deaths in 2018 – amounting to one particular in 6 deaths – and this variety is predicted to increase by 70 % more than the up coming two decades.

When it comes to cancer prognosis and checking, a non-invasive approach recognised as liquid biopsy has the potential to outperform typical approaches such as sound-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a straightforward blood test, liquid biopsies recognize DNA produced from cancer cells to expose a large variety of info about the tumour. Even so, the course of action is hardly ever made use of for prognosis for the reason that it continues to be laborious, inefficient and fairly expensive.

Enter the EU-funded Catch-U-DNA undertaking. The scientists involved have devised a new liquid biopsy approach, which could pave the way to extra exact prognosis and lower the need to have for invasive sound-tissue biopsies.

The novel and extremely-delicate technology platform could also be made use of to check sufferers extra reliably and cost”effectively, therefore paving the way towards extra personalised procedure.

‘We’ve centered on detecting of the BRAF-V600E place mutation, which is introduced in a variety of cancer kinds and has high clinical significance for personalised treatment,’ suggests undertaking coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

‘Our approach efficiently and reliably detects a solitary molecule of genomic DNA carrying this mutation in ten 000 usual DNA molecules – all in about two hrs from sample to outcome.’

Sounding out a new approach

Now, blood serum collected in a liquid biopsy will have to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in buy to amplify exceptional, small fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the place at which they can be detected.

The Catch-U-DNA platform identifies ctDNA utilizing the hugely delicate allele-precise polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that contain the goal mutation.

Scientists put together this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, intended to detect small amounts of ctDNA and capable to analyse several samples during each and every operate. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, top to the subsequent binding of liposomes (made use of to have medications or other substances into physique tissues) on the device’s surface area. It is this occasion that alters the acoustic signal and announces the detection of goal DNA.

This technique of sensing goal DNA – which avoids the need to have for expensive optical pieces made use of for typical detection utilizing fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Catch-U-DNA undertaking.

Proving the theory

‘We’re now in the system of validating the technology utilizing tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung cancer sufferers attained by our clinical spouse, the University of Crete,’ suggests Gizeli.

‘Results so much are very promising. In the coming months, we’ll complete 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 designs to commercialise the technology for further more laboratory research, as well as for use in the clinical discipline.

The undertaking comes beneath the FET Open up Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-phase science and technology research into radically new foreseeable future technologies.