Point-of-care testing is essential to provide better patient care by aiding physicians in making informed decisions during patient visits. This will enable the start of immediate treatment for many conditions and reduce the strain on resources in secondary care, resulting in reduced outpatient clinic time. A key challenge in the development of point-of-care diagnostic devices is the requirement for robust, rapid and simple assay formats with rapid readout, coupled with small sensing areas (~10 x 10 µm) and low sample volumes (25 µl) that exhibit the same sensitivity as laboratory based tests. The Phast-ID project will address this challenge by developing an integrated multichannel 2D photonic crystal based disposable biosensor and bench top reader, for point-of-care disease diagnostic applications. The Phast-ID disposable sensor will demonstrate enhanced performance beyond the state of the art in key proteomic diagnostic systems by delivering robust label-free detection of four pancreatic cancer serum biomarkers at less than 100 fM (5 pg/ml) concentrations.
Objective genetic algorithms will be developed for infometric and chemometric pattern recognition to allow unequivocal identification of protein cancer biomarkers following collection of the data from the sensor platform. In this manner, the project will support the development of future device innovation in proteomics and disease diagnostics that could yield revolutionary advances in healthcare and nanomedicine.
A successful Phast-ID project will provide a number of clear benefits over the current label-free commercial offerings: speed, cost and ease of use and make the outputs of the Phast-ID project very attractive commercially in the point-of-care diagnostic markets.
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