The objective is to develop advanced disposable chips, for point-of-care multi-parametric analysis of protein cancer markers. It is important to note that monitoring of multiple markers is essential to improve the reliability and the specificity of the analysis.
The complete analytical instruments will comprise of disposable chips and a control unit, with dimensions of a credit card and book respectively. The essential functional blocks needed for sample preparation and analysis will be developed and integrated into a single chip.
This includes such functions as the extraction of the serum from a drop of blood, protein pre-purification and pre-concentration and immuno-electrochromatographic separation, to assess quantitatively the cancer markers of interest. The final detection of the concentration of cancer markers will be based on integrated optical components (optical guides, Y-junctions) implemented in the chip and coupled with micro-fluidic channels.
This integrated optical system will be used for guiding the excitation light on the chip, excitation of a fluorescence signal at the end of several separation micro-channels and for collection of the fluorescence response. The developed technology (chips + control unit) will be inexpensive, autonomous, and straightforward in its operation and interpretation.
It will provide a new platform capable of performing frequent and cost-effective monitoring of tumour biomarkers at the point-of-care or in small analytical laboratories. This will improve the comfort of life of cancer patients and allow a more efficient therapy management.
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