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Posts Taged cancer-diagnosis

3D bioprinting applied to cancer diagnostics

Mateu Pla Roca, Scientific Coordinator of Unit 7 of NANBIOSIS /IBEC Core Facilities has won CaixaImpulse funding for his project “3D bioprinted array tissue-like cores: tissue-like controls for cancer diagnostics” (3DBIOcores), which will be carried out in collaboration with Antoni Martinez, head of the histopathology service at Hospital Clinic. CaixaImpulse programme aims to promote technology transfer in science.

The project 3DBIOcores will take advantage of 3D bioprinting to create quality control samples that assure and improve cancer diagnostics. Usually, diagnosis is done by histopathology – the microscopic examination of tissues – and then the biomarkers that are found are quantified. However, histological techniques face some degree of variability that can lead to misinterpretation, and for this reason, such tests require quality control samples to be processed side-by-side with patient samples to verify the final diagnosis.

Currently, hospitals use surplus human tissue which is known to express the required biomarkers as quality control samples, but these are scarce and non-homogeneous, and their use raises ethical issues. Mateu’s project proposes 3DBIOcores as a new source of these essential controls. Taking advantage of 3D bioprinting technology, tissue-like structures containing cell lines with relevant cancer biomarkers will be produced and used as a new source of control samples.

“3DBIOcores will be a real innovation in histopathology analysis, with the potential to have an enormous impact on cancer diagnosis based on the histopathological analysis of biopsies, improving precision in cancer treatment and reducing diagnostic errors,” says Mateu.

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A multiplexing nanophotonic biosensor for cancer diagnosis

The group Biosensors and bio-analytic applications, led by Laura Lechuga,​ coordinator of Unit 4 of NANBIOSIS, has developed a methodology through a nano-photonic sensor (known as bimodal waveguide interferometer) capable of quantifying, directly and mark-free, the different messenger RNA isoforms generated by alternative splicing.

The expertise in biodeposition and biodetection systems of Lechuga’s group has permitted a thorough analytical study and optimization of the methodology, achieving not only total selectivity, but also excellent levels of sensitivity and reproducibility, and obtaining the lowest levels of detection in direct detection of messenger RNA isoforms generated by this mechanism without the need for PCR amplification (polymerase chain reaction).

The results of the study have recently been published in Scientific Reports (of the Nature group) and show a new methodology for the analysis of alternative splicing processes in a fast, simple and direct way, overcoming the main problems of conventional techniques. In addition, it opens the possibility of developing more efficient tools for the diagnosis and monitoring of therapy, providing a more informative, specific and precise analysis.

Article of reference:

Analysis of alternative splicing events for cancer diagnosis using a multiplexing nanophotonic biosensor. Scientific Reports 7, Article number: 41368 (2017) doi:10.1038/srep41368.

A multiplexing nanophotonic biosensor for cancer diagnosis
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