NAnoTEchnology Diagnosis: Método y dispositivo para análisis de material biológico, método de obtención y uso del mismo.
The purpose of this project is to develop innovative Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) technologies as analytical tools for biomedical applications: LOC integrating nanomaterials and self-propelled micro machines. The main aims are the development of new tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of neonatal pathologies in two areas of clinical practice: rare diseases diagnosis through detection of amino acids (phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia and maple syrup urine disease) and neonatal sepsis.
The LOC technology allows performing fast, simultaneous and multiplexed analysis using small amounts of sample and reagents, offering great capabilities to develop points of care (POCs) analysis. The use of electrochemical detection in combination with high impact nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene and catalytic metal nanowires exhibit greatly improved electrochemical transduction in terms of sensitivity, selectivity and reproducibility of the analysis. Moreover, micromotors are ultra-small vehicles that can act as self-propelled molecular machines with directed functionalization, able to transform chemical energy into motion and to recognize and isolate -by themselves- target molecules in complex matrices.
The LOC systems that will be addressed are: (i) microfluidic electrophoresis chips coupled to electrochemical detection, based exclusively on nanomaterials, for diagnosis and monitoring of phenylketonuria, tyrosinemia and maple syrup urine disease by detecting amino acids markers, (ii) microfluidic immunoassays with greatly improved nanomaterial-based electrochemical detection of procalcitonin as neonatal sepsis biomarker and (iii) new LOCs systems based on synthetic micromotors as molecular self-propelled machines for the detection and diagnosis of Sthaphilococus epidermidis in neonatal sepsis.
The incorporation of LOC technologies in clinical practice of these neonatal pathologies facilitate the early diagnosis and monitoring of each disease and will reduce the number of invasive tests in newborn babies, using very low blood volume. In this context, due to the LOC technology allow to perform both ultra-fast analysis and small amounts of sample, being these two features, essential requirements in the clinical diagnosis and monitoring of such disease. These presented tools may be considered as highly innovative and relevant.
The ultimate goal pursued by this project is the transfer of the final device(s) for its use in clinical practices.
Description of the innovative or differentiating component with regard to existing solutions.
Related to the first stage, this strategy combines the excellent characteristics provided by a LOC system, with the sensitivity and specificity of an integrated immunoassay, and the improved electrochemical detection delivered by a creative use of nanomaterials.
Nanomaterials are very unique not only because they offer a high surface to volume ratio, but also because they can be strategically designed controlling its electronic properties and chemical functionalization.
The main advantages include integration and control of different stages of biological recognition and transduction allowing:
- Diminishing drastically incubation times due to the high area/volume ratio and short diffusion distances, involving an important reduction in the final time analysis.
- Highly reduction in reagents and precious sample volumes consumption such as blood in very low birth weight infants.
- Designing bed-side portable LOC prototype systems to allow an easy interaction for making clinical decisions based on action protocol algorithms.
Furthermore, in the second stage, self-propelled functionalized molecular machines (micro/nanomotors) constitute an interesting and promising alternative in the last generation LOC systems. These devices are ultra-small vehicles designed to perform mechanical movements in response to specific inputs. After a suitable functionalization, they are able to recognize, capture and detect specific clinical target analytes in autonomous way, with very low volume blood samples, and rapidly inside a LOC platform.
Beneficiaries and potential clients
From the standpoint of potential clients, the solution may be high interest:
- Neonatal units.
- Intensive Care Units of patients at any age.
- Universal clinical application for suspected infection.
- Primary care.
- Emerging countries (lower cost and lower technology and infrastructure need).
- Potential applicability in the field of basic and clinical research due to the immediacy of the results.
- Situations where the sample volume is low (neonates).
Estado Propiedad Intelectual
Tratado de Cooperación en materia de Patente (PCT).
Licencia, Convenio de Colaboración, Spin Off.