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Programmable nucleic acid toolkits for cell-free diagnostics and genetically encoded biosensing

Objective

WHY: The biological complexity of tumours and the large diversity of diagnostic biomarkers call for the development of innovative analytical tools that can detect multiple targets in a sensitive, specific and low-cost way and allow real-time monitoring of disease pathways and therapeutic effects. To provide such transformative tools creative thinking, innovative approach and the exploration of new research avenues that span different disciplines is necessary.

WHAT: The goal of the PRO-TOOLKITS project is to address this need by developing innovative cell-free point of care diagnostic kits and genetically encodable biosensing tools.

HOW: I oriented my independent career as a P.I. towards the design and development of synthetic nucleic acid-based nanodevices and nanomachines. With the help of an ERC Starting Grant I made ground-breaking contributions in the field of nucleic acid Nanotechnology. Motivated by these advancements I propose to challenge my know-how and expertise to explore new research avenues that will open exciting possibilities in biosensing applications. The key, ground-breaking IDEA underlying this project is to take advantage of my expertise and harness the advantageous features of RNA synthetic modules that can translate the expression of proteins in controlled in-vitro cell-free systems and can be also genetically encoded in living organisms and function inside the cells. I will develop rationally designed programmable nucleic acid modules that respond to a wide range of molecular markers and environmental stimuli through innovative nature-inspired mechanisms and that can be orthogonally wired to provide cell-free diagnostic kits and genetically encoded live-cell biosensing tools. The project will provide transformative approaches, methods and tools that will represent a genuine break-through in the fields of in-vitro diagnostics, biosensing and synthetic biology.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/nucleic acid
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/synthetic biology
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins
  • /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/biosensing

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-COG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Host institution

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA TOR VERGATA
Address
Via Cracovia 50
00133 Roma
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 999 375

Beneficiaries (1)

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI ROMA TOR VERGATA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 1 999 375
Address
Via Cracovia 50
00133 Roma
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments