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Ultrasensitive chiral detection by signal-reversing cavity polarimetry: applications to in-situ proteomics, single-molecule chirality, HPLC analysis, medical diagnostics, and atmospheric studies

Objective

Chirality is a fundamental property of life, making chiral sensing and analysis crucial to numerous scientific subfields of biology, chemistry, and medicine, and to the pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, and food industries, constituting a market of 10s of billion €, and growing.
Despite the tremendous importance of chiral sensing, its application remains very limited, as chiroptical signals are typically very weak, preventing important biological and medical applications. Recently, the project-coordinating FORTH team has introduced a new form of Chiral-Cavity-based Polarimetry (CCP) for chiral sensing, which has three groundbreaking advantages compared to commercial instruments: (a) The chiroptical signals are enhanced by the number of cavity passes (typically ~1000); (b) otherwise limiting birefringent backgrounds are suppressed;
(c) rapid signal reversals give absolute polarimetry measurements, not requiring sample removal for a null-sample measurement. Together, these advantages allow improvement in chiral detection sensitivity by 3-6 orders of magnitude (depending on instrument complexity and price). ULTRACHIRAL aims to revolutionize existing applications of chiral sensing, but also to instigate important new domains which require sensitivities beyond current limits, including: (1) measuring protein structure in-situ, in solution, at surfaces, and within cells and membranes, thus realizing the “holy-grail” of proteomics; (2) coupling to high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for chiral identification of the components of complex mixtures, creating new standards for the pharmaceutical and chemical analysis industries; (3) chiral analysis of human bodily fluids as a diagnostic tool in medicine; (4) measurement of single-molecule chirality, by adapting CCP to microresonators, which have already demonstrated single-molecule detection; and (5) real-time chiral monitoring of terpene emissions from individual trees and forests, as a probe of forest ecology.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/biochemistry/biomolecules/proteins/proteomics

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

RIA - Research and Innovation action

Coordinator

IDRYMA TECHNOLOGIAS KAI EREVNAS
Address
N Plastira Str 100
70013 Irakleio
Greece
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 722 500

Participants (7)

ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 567 500
Address
Batiment Ce 3316 Station 1
1015 Lausanne
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 535 000
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Germany
EU contribution
€ 501 250
Address
Saarstrasse 21
55122 Mainz
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 572 000
Address
The Queen's Drive Northcote House
EX4 4QJ Exeter
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV
Germany
EU contribution
€ 237 500
Address
Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Muenchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
PHOTEK LIMITED
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 318 750
Address
Castleham Road 26
TN38 9NS East Sussex
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
PANEPISTIMIO KRITIS
Greece
EU contribution
€ 544 750
Address
University Campus Gallos
74100 Rethimno
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments