Development of a low cost label free electronic sensor for detecting breast cancer biomarker panels in serum

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: School of Medical Sciences


Specific objectives and methods
(1) To covalently couple existing polymers that make up the active layer of EGOFET devices to (i) antibodies against established BC serum biomarkers, CA15-3, s-HER2, and (ii) a peptide nuclei acid (PNA) complementary to circulating miRNA biomarkers, miRNA10b, as a first example. Polymers will be formulated into an ink that can be printed as a continuous pin-hole free thin film suitable for functionalization
(2) To use polymers from 1 to fabricate and test single EGOFET devices capable of operating in an aqueous environment similar to serum (e.g. 100mM saline).
(3) To assess the performance (e.g. limits of detection and specificity) of EGOFET devices for antigen detection in serum.
(4) To produce a basic multichannel EGOFET array to allow the quantitative assessment of three selected biomarkers to test the concept of EGOFET arrays for use in breast cancer recurrence monitoring.
The outcome of this project is a low cost printed EGOFET array that allows the simultaneous analysis of multiple biomarkers for MBC, each transistor giving an individually quantifiable signal for each biomarker. Our proposed array platform (figure 2) is inherently scalable by adding additional columns or rows to the array design, either adding further biomarkers to the panel and/or improving the confidence limits for detection. With the continuing discovery of new and more useful serum biomarkers, including DNAs and RNAs, arrays can be personalized to accommodate for specific biomarkers selective for subtypes of BCs or even individual patients.
The student will be given in house training by postdoctoral researchers and relevant academics from the supervisory team, and their collaborative networks, in; (1) organic semi-conductor synthesis, (2) single channel EGOFET construction for preliminary scoping experimentation, (3) multiarray sensor platform design and fabrication (using CAD and ink jet printing) and (4) analytical bio-sensing and its application to clinical analysis. Dr Sacha Howell is a Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Breast Medical Oncology at the Christie and is well placed to advise on clinically validated biomarkers, biomarker panel composition of EGOFET arrays for personalised analysis and provide clinical samples for testing.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509565/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1989820 Studentship EP/N509565/1 01/01/2018 31/12/2021 Raja Usman Khan