Next Generation Disease Screening using Nanosensors'; Highly multiplexed label-free detection of soulble proteins and miRNA in biofluids

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Chemistry


There is an enormous need for analytical methods that can achieve simultaneous detection of multiple
soluble proteins and miRNA in complex biological fluids. A technology that can achieve this holds the
promise of far-reaching impact in multiple healthcare grand challenges ranging from
neurodegenerative disease to several major cancers. This project aims to develop a multiplexed
label-free detection of soluble proteins and miRNA in biofluids based on the Oxford Nanopore
MinION. The MinION is an established platform capable of high-throughput sequencing capable
probing 512 channels simultaneously. Via customisation and use of molecular carriers, we believe
that such a platform can be used for the detection of up to 44 (256) protein and miRNA biomarkers
simultaneously in a label-free manner. The molecular carriers will not only enable efficient transport
and detection of the biomarker to the nanopore but will also incorporate a unique DNA barcode
identifier consisting of 4 bases which can be used to confirm concentration and presence of a
particular biomarker. Each carrier will contain a complementary sequence for the detection of miRNA
or an aptamer sequence for detection of protein. As a proof of concept, we have selected 2 key
proteins linked to a major neurodegenerative disease (Parkinson's, Alzheimer's) and 10 miRNA
sequences which are either up or down regulated in patients. The developed method is universal and
if successful this pilot work will build the basis for a general approach for the detection of proteins and
small molecules such as miRNA and neurotransmitters in complex unmodified samples.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2028
2229871 Studentship EP/S023518/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Caroline Koch