New Point of Care Diagnostic Technology for Cancer Biomarkers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Chemical Engineering

Abstract

There is now overwhelming evidence that glycosylation, the process by which sugars are attached to proteins, changes during the development and progression of various malignancies. Altered glycosylation has been implicated in cancer, immune deficiencies, neurodegenerative diseases, hereditary disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Glycoproteomics is rapidly emerging as an important technique for biomarker discovery, and glycoproteins are expected to become increasingly important to the diagnosis and management of human diseases.

This project will deliver a unique and genuinely world leading research activity in the development of synthetic recognition platforms that will allow for earlier, faster and accurate diagnosis of many devastating human diseases. In this project, the potential of the novel synthetic recognition platforms will be illustrated by developing a novel screening tool for diagnosing prostate cancer, a major cause of morbidity and mortality among men worldwide.
There is now overwhelming evidence that glycosylation, the process by which sugars are attached to proteins, changes during the development and progression of various malignancies. Altered glycosylation has been implicated in cancer, immune deficiencies, neurodegenerative diseases, hereditary disorders and cardiovascular diseases. Glycoproteins are expected to become increasingly important to the diagnosis and management of human diseases. This project will deliver a unique and genuinely world leading research activity in the development of synthetic recognition platforms that will allow for earlier, faster and accurate diagnosis of many devastating human diseases. The project will aim at engineering surfaces at molecular level to create recognition sites that are highly specific for glycans. Using the molecular imprinting technology, which will rely on the formation of a polymeric thin film in presence of a glycan template, nanopockets on a gold surface will be formed with carbohydrate receptors in a particular spatial arrangement that will be aimed at fitting only the glycan used as template. During the project different characterization techniques will be used, namely contact angle, ellipsometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. This will allow to determine the thickness, hydrophilicity and elemental composition of the surfaces as well as their binding capabilities. The specific objectives of the projects are:
i) Engineering surfaces at molecular level using surface chemistry and polymer chemistry to recognise in a specific manner glycans.
ii) Employ physical and chemical characterization to fully determine the properties of the surfaces created.
iii) Test the novel engineered surfaces in highly relevant glycoprotein targets such as prostate specific antigen.
The engineering and physical challenges to be addressed are to create and characterize surface materials with high specificity for glycan molecules.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1790109 Studentship EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2019 Yazmin Kaur Tagger