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Biofluid analysis with innovative SERS procedure
Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy/Scattering (SERS) is a technique that can be used to analyse biomolecules in various fields including medicine for diagnostic and forensic purposes, drug development and detection. SERS requires the use of a substrate, to which a sample is deposited, in order to obtain the Raman spectrum containing the desired information.
Nevertheless, the available substrates for biofluid analysis do not guarantee reproducibility, are difficult to obtain and often require sample pre-treatment. Here the technology provider proposed an innovative procedure that can strengthen SERS applications to biofluidic analysis by facilitating sample preparation, which is usually expensive, time consuming and prone to errors.
Currently, the technology requires clinical validation and the development of multivariate classification methods based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA)/ Regression and Linear Discriminant Analysis, or models based on machine learning (examples: Supported Vector Machines, Artificial Neural Networks). Hence, the technology provider is seeking collaborators to further develop the technology. Ideal collaborators include cancer research hospitals or diagnostic laboratories. Additionally, the technology provider is looking for different commercial partners to co-develop a kit for clinical applications and/or to license the technology to interested partners.
Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages
The technology includes the ‘know-how’ to develop a novel substrate for SERS biofluid analysis and the relevant data analysis procedure. The general strategy is to identify the “fingerprint” of a specific condition from a known sample cohort to develop a classification model, and then use this information to predict the presence of the same condition in unknown samples.
The proposed procedure is compatible with blood, serum, plasma, urine, saliva, ascitic fluid and other body fluids. The sample volume required is about 5 µL, the process does not require sample pre-treatment. When compared to other SERS protocols, the technology is less time consuming and simplifies the analysis execution.
- Low sample volume required (5 µL)
- Improves analysis reproducibility and accuracy
- No sample pre-treatment
- Cost- and time-effective
- Compatible with a large selection of biofluids
Detection of ovarian and colorectal cancer:
Two clinical studies will be used to verify whether it is possible to accurately classify ovarian/colorectal cancer versus benign conditions and healthy controls using the proposed technology on a blood sample. Multivariate classification methods including neural networks will be used to correlate sample specificities with cancer features. The sensitivity and the specificity of the technology will also be assessed.
The technology can also find applications in -
- Minimally invasive diagnostic test for cancer or other pathologies
- Forensic medicine
- Drug development and detection
Presented here is a versatile technology that allows for the detection of multiple analytes. This technology can potentially be extended to the diagnosis of any condition that alters the composition of the blood and/or other bodily fluids.