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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

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.
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Coordinator

FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS

Address

N Plastira Str 100
70013 Heraklion

Greece

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 722 500

Participants (7)

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ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 567 500

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 535 000

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 501 250

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 572 000

MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FORDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN EV

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 237 500

PHOTEK LIMITED

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 318 750

PANEPISTIMIO KRITIS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 544 750

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 737071

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 January 2017

  • End date

    31 December 2020

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.2.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 3 999 250

  • EU contribution

    € 3 999 250

Coordinated by:

FOUNDATION FOR RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY HELLAS

Greece