|Next-generation integrated MNBS-platform for instant diagnostics with single-molecule resolution|
Duration: 01/12/2012 – 30/11/2015
A spearhead function that lies within the promise of MNBS technologies is the rapid and sensitive detection of biomarker molecules in raw biological samples. However, it has been very difficult to realize the promise due to two key challenges:
- the signal-over-background challenge, i.e. many biomarkers have very low concentrations and real-life biological samples generate very high background signals, and
- the integration challenge, i.e. it is very difficult to conceive a system that has a very high performance and is still fully integrated, miniaturized, and cost-effective.
NextDx will address these challenges by investigating an integrated system for protein biomarker detection with single molecule resolution. The system is based on magnetic nanoparticles that are controlled by electromagnetic fields and detected with nanometer precision in an integrated optical chip with bio-engineered surface. The system will allow a sharp biophysical discrimination between biomarker-induced and non-biomarker-induced nanoparticle binding signals, so as to approach the fundamental limit of counting statistics in real biological samples. This is a unique, novel, and timely approach.
At the end of NextDx, we will demonstrate an integrated MNBS platform technology for extremely sensitive protein detection, within a few minutes, directly in blood plasma. The technology will be suitable for multiple biomarker testing outside the hospital, to improve for example the lives of chronically ill patients. NextDx is a unique international consortium with best-in-class partners contributing complementary physical and biomolecular engineering expertise, supported by an advisory board with all relevant stakeholders (clinicians, patient organisation, insurance company, regulatory agency). Together, all are focused on generating new insights in MNBS integration and on effective industrial-academic collaboration on the European scale towards next-generation integrated diagnostics.