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

Armed with a novel biosensor that makes use of acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA,

Armed with a novel biosensor that makes use of acoustic waves to detect tumour DNA, an EU-funded undertaking could maximize the precision and affordability of cancer diagnosis and help make personalised treatment method a fact for much more people.


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

Most cancers is the 2nd most typical cause of loss of life around the globe. There ended up nine.6 million cancer-linked fatalities in 2018 – amounting to just one in 6 fatalities – and this amount is predicted to rise by 70 % around the subsequent two a long time.

When it arrives to cancer diagnosis and checking, a non-invasive technique acknowledged as liquid biopsy has the opportunity to outperform conventional techniques this kind of as stable-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a simple blood exam, liquid biopsies discover DNA introduced from cancer cells to expose a vast vary of data about the tumour. On the other hand, the procedure is almost never employed for diagnosis since it stays laborious, inefficient and relatively pricey.

Enter the EU-funded Catch-U-DNA undertaking. The scientists involved have devised a new liquid biopsy technique, which could pave the way to much more correct diagnosis and lower the need for invasive stable-tissue biopsies.

The novel and extremely-delicate technology system could also be employed to keep track of people much more reliably and cost”effectively, therefore paving the way in the direction of much more personalised treatment method.

‘We’ve concentrated on detecting of the BRAF-V600E issue mutation, which is presented in numerous cancer kinds and has significant medical significance for personalised remedy,’ claims undertaking coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

‘Our strategy properly and reliably detects a one molecule of genomic DNA carrying this mutation in 10 000 usual DNA molecules – all in about two hours from sample to consequence.’

Sounding out a new technique

At this time, blood serum gathered in a liquid biopsy ought to bear polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in get to amplify uncommon, tiny fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the issue at which they can be detected.

The Catch-U-DNA system identifies ctDNA using the extremely delicate allele-certain polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that incorporate the target mutation.

Scientists combined this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, made to detect tiny amounts of ctDNA and equipped to analyse many samples through every single run. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, leading to the subsequent binding of liposomes (employed to have drugs or other substances into entire body tissues) on the device’s area. It is this function that alters the acoustic signal and announces the detection of target DNA.

This system of sensing target DNA – which avoids the need for pricey optical components employed for conventional detection using fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Catch-U-DNA undertaking.

Proving the principle

‘We’re currently in the system of validating the technology using tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung cancer people acquired by our medical husband or wife, the College of Crete,’ claims Gizeli.

‘Results so significantly are quite 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 system and sensor array, AWSensors in Spain has ideas to commercialise the technology for additional laboratory study, as very well as for use in the medical industry.

The undertaking arrives below the FET Open up Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-phase science and technology study into radically new long run systems.