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 task could maximize the precision and affordability of cancer prognosis and assist make personalised therapy a actuality for a lot more people.


© Giovanni Cancemi #292099202 2020

Most cancers is the second most typical bring about of demise around the world. There ended up 9.six million cancer-associated deaths in 2018 – amounting to just one in six deaths – and this number is predicted to increase by 70 {bcdc0d62f3e776dc94790ed5d1b431758068d4852e7f370e2bcf45b6c3b9404d} above the next two decades.

When it will come to cancer prognosis and monitoring, a non-invasive strategy known as liquid biopsy has the prospective to outperform normal ways this kind of as strong-tissue biopsies, ultrasound scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). With a uncomplicated blood test, liquid biopsies determine DNA released from cancer cells to reveal a large assortment of information about the tumour. However, the course of action is seldom utilised for prognosis for the reason that it remains laborious, inefficient and relatively costly.

Enter the EU-funded Capture-U-DNA task. The researchers concerned have devised a new liquid biopsy strategy, which could pave the way to a lot more precise prognosis and cut down the need for invasive strong-tissue biopsies.

The novel and ultra-sensitive technological know-how system could also be utilised to keep an eye on people a lot more reliably and cost”effectively, thereby paving the way towards a lot more personalised therapy.

‘We’ve concentrated on detecting of the BRAF-V600E point mutation, which is offered in numerous cancer kinds and has significant clinical importance for personalised therapy,’ suggests task coordinator Electra Gizeli of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at FORTH in Greece.

‘Our technique productively and reliably detects a one molecule of genomic DNA carrying this mutation in ten 000 standard DNA molecules – all in about two several hours from sample to consequence.’

Sounding out a new strategy

At the moment, blood serum gathered in a liquid biopsy should go through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in order to amplify scarce, very small fragments of tumour DNA (ctDNA) to the point at which they can be detected.

The Capture-U-DNA system identifies ctDNA using the hugely sensitive allele-certain polymerase chain reaction (AS-PCR) assay, which only amplifies fragments of DNA that incorporate the goal mutation.

Researchers put together this assay with their new acoustic wave biosensor, made to detect very small quantities of ctDNA and ready to analyse multiple samples through just about every operate. The amplified ctDNA is immobilised on the biosensor, top to the subsequent binding of liposomes (utilised to have medication or other substances into system tissues) on the device’s area. It is this event that alters the acoustic sign and announces the detection of goal DNA.

This technique of sensing goal DNA – which avoids the need for costly optical components utilised for normal detection using fluorescence – is the central innovation of the Capture-U-DNA task.

Proving the principle

‘We’re now in the system of validating the technological know-how using tissue and plasma samples from melanoma, colorectal and lung cancer people acquired by our clinical husband or wife, the College of Crete,’ suggests Gizeli.

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

As the developer of the new acoustic system and sensor array, AWSensors in Spain has ideas to commercialise the technological know-how for even more laboratory investigation, as nicely as for use in the clinical discipline.

The task will come beneath the FET Open Horizon 2020 programme which supports early-phase science and technological know-how investigation into radically new upcoming systems.