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Super-sensitive detection of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in plasma by an innovative droplet split-and-stack approach

Project description

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

Clinical practice employs immunoassay methods for the detection of diagnostic biomarkers in body fluids. However, in cases where the concentration of biomarkers falls below the limit of detection (LOD), these techniques fail to provide results. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) represents an example where low biomarker concentration in the blood makes diagnosis impossible. The EU-funded SensApp project is developing a super-sensitive technique to determine the concentration of AD biomarkers in plasma from peripheral blood samples for early non-invasive diagnosis in routine clinical practice. The so-called droplet split-and-stack technology will stack the biomarker molecules in sub-microlitre volumes on a solid support before immunodetection, avoiding diffusion and improving the LOD with an innovative integrated optical system detecting the fluorescence signal directly on the reaction support.

Objective

The detection of biomarkers in body fluids is of great importance for disease early diagnosis. The clinical practice uses typically immunoassay methods (e.g. ELISA, Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay, and related techniques) for biomarker determination. Unfortunately, these techniques fail dramatically in a wide variety of cases where the concentration of biomarkers falls below the limit of detection (LOD). The Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one real example. Nowadays the AD diagnosis from blood collection is not possible just for the above-mentioned reason. The AD biomarkers are low abundant in blood and they can be determined only in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), thus requiring a highly invasive intervention on the patient (lumbar puncture) under hospitalization, causing also high costs for the public health. SensApp seeks to develop a bench-top “super-sensor” able to determine low abundant AD biomarkers simply in plasma, from peripheral blood, for very early and non-invasive diagnosis in routine clinical practice. We will develop an outstanding innovative technology that we call droplet split-and-stack (DSS), able to stack the biomarker molecules in sub-microlitre volumes on a solid support before the immunoreactions, thus avoiding diffusion limits and improving significantly the LOD. The super-sensor will be fully automated and cost-effective. An integrated micro-system in polar materials will split the mother drop of the plasma sample in tiny droplets through electric fields and will accumulate them on a microscale site, while an innovative integrated optical system will detect the fluorescence signal directly on the reaction support. SensApp will lay the foundations for a future European industrial leadership involved in all of those clinical studies where the detection of low abundant biomarkers is of vital importance for the welfare of society.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2020

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Sub call

H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01

Coordinator

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE
Net EU contribution
€ 831 562,50
Address
PIAZZALE ALDO MORO 7
00185 Roma
Italy

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Region
Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 831 562,50

Participants (5)