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Ultrafast Raman Technologies for Protein Identification and Sequencing

Project description

An innovative platform to read proteins

Proteins are crucial components of living organisms and play a role in all functions and processes. To know an entire set of proteins that can be expressed by an organism (the human proteome), in the case of a specific person, could dramatically facilitate diagnosis, treatment and prevention of most human diseases. Unfortunately, there are currently no time- or cost-effective methods for this. The EU-funded ProID project will combine advanced technologies to create a precise, ultrafast and ultrasensitive technological platform based on enhanced Raman spectroscopy. This will be able to record single-protein Raman spectra with a single amino acid resolution to enable cost- and time-effective identification and sequencing of proteins.


The human proteome is the whole set of protein that a human can potentially express. Most of the human proteome is known. However the proteome, being the set of proteins potentially expressed, does not give information regarding the protein really expressed in a specific person or a patient. The possibility of accessing to this fundamental information through a cost and time effective technique will revolutionize our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat most of the human diseases.
This is the commitment of ProID that aims to provide a technological platform able to record single protein Raman spectra with single amino-acid resolution. Namely, by reading the sequence of selected amino-acids along the protein chain, the platform will identify the corresponding protein. To reach this goal we want to combine advanced nanofabrications of plasmonic nanopores with ultrafast time resolved photon detectors and machine learning algorithms. More in details: i) plasmonic nanopores will be exploited to achieve single amino-acid optical excitation and enhanced Raman stimulation; ii) ultrafast and ultrasensitive Raman spectrometers will be obtained by combining the emerging technologies of SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) arrays with dedicated otpica elements which improve the sensitivity and the speed of the detector, and reduce the number of elements of the array necessary to sample a Raman spectrum; iii) bioinformatics approaches will complete the technological platform by developing specific software for discriminating the Raman spectra of proteins with reduced spectral points. Also, insightful experiments on electrophoretic translocation and augmented fluid viscosity in ultra-confined systems will contribute the molecular motion into the nanopores. Finally, to state of the art in-silico design will support the project by contributing to system optimization and data analyses/interpretation.

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Net EU contribution
€ 916 031,25
16163 Genova

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Nord-Ovest Liguria Genova
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 916 031,25

Participants (8)