Diagnostics

Develop new tests to detect diseases faster, more cost effective, and more reliable to improve quality of life for patients.

Protein copying for diagnostics

In modern medicine, fast detection and differentiation of diseases are crucial and fundamental tasks. The iGEM Team Freiburg 2015 developed a method for simultaneous and parallel detection of various diseases in a fast and inexpensive manner. They used SCORE technology to analyse the interaction of antibodies with their respective antigens an measure patients' samples without the need for laborious labelling steps. This novel approach uses cell-free protein expression to directly synthesize and immobilise target proteins on the microarray.

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Diagnosis of virus infections using the b-screen and characterisation of relevant antibodies in a peptide-array format (HTS).

Infectious Diseases represent a major challenge in diagnostics as well as their therapeutical treatment. However, individuals respond differently towards the same pathogen. A typical example for this is the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), which is relatively harmless when facing it as child, but can cause severe problems when the first infection happens as grown up. An accurate diagnostic and exact characterisation of the antibodies can aid for a correct treatment. In this case, a patient serum sample was investigated using a peptide array representing common epitopes of the EBV.

Identification and characterisation of new cancer biomarkers.

The identification of new biomarkers allows for a better and more precise diagnosis of diseases. Monitoring these biomarkers can help to take actions against diseases before the disease becomes too severe to be treated effectively. beta-2-microglobulin serves as biomarker for several cancer-related diseases (such as lymphoma or liver-cancer), leukaemia or HIV and antibodies against beta-2-microglobulin have been characterised in terms of their affinity towards binding (and therefore detecting) this important biomarker.

Diagnosis of inflammatory biomarkers.

Inflammation biomarkers are among the most important group of biomarkers. They can either help to diagnose chronic diseases or an acute increase can indicate a beginning sepsis. Therefore, a fast and accurate determination of this biomarkers helps to save lives. In this study, we present a direct-assay for the fast quantification of C-reactive protein – one of the most prominent inflammation biomarkers.

Diagnosis of prostate specific antigen (PSA). Benchmark versus other established label-free technologies.

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) has become the most important and sensitive marker for the diagnosis of prostate cancer, although elevated levels of PSA can be also caused by prostatitis or benign prostatic hyperplasia. Via immobilised anti-PSA antibodies, it is possible to directly follow the binding (and dissociation) of PSA and characterise the biomolecular interaction of this important biomarker and its corresponding antibody. These results are compared to another label-free technology in a similar experimental setup.

Veterinary diagnostics of salmonella infections in animals for food production.

Diagnostic assays are not limited to humans. Sometimes it is necessary to perform diagnostics on animals. This is especially the case for animals that enter food production. A major issue for food producing animals are Salmonella infections, which can be easily detected by a serological test using the Biametrics technology.

Diagnosis of anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS) during pregnancy.

The diagnosis of anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS) is a difficult task, since there is no single biomarker, which can serve as decision criterion on its own. Therefore, we combined multiple biomarkers in an array format for a more reliable discrimination between healthy and ill individuals.