Nanofluidics for early CVD diagnostics (PHOCNOSIS)
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death in the EU accounting for 1.9 million deaths each year (40% of all deaths in the EU) with an estimated associated cost of almost €196 billion per year. Despite these numbers, CVD can be successfully treated when detected early and managed according to best practices.
The PHOCNOSIS project aims at the development and the preclinical validation of a nanotechnology-based handheld point-of-care testing (POCT) analysis device for its application in the early diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The diagnosis will be carried out by means of the fast (<10 minutes), ultra-sensitive (<1 ng/L) and label-free detection of multiple cardiac biomarkers, using a small volume of whole blood (<100 μL). This POCT analysis device will significantly help in the implementation of mass screening programs, with the consequent impact on clinical management, reducing also costs of treatments, and increasing survival rates.
The contribution of BIOS to PHOCNOSIS is the development of an integrated micro/nanofluidic system for biomarkers separation, purification and concentration, targeting an effective concentration increase by a factor greater than 1000x for the targeted biomarkers. For this purpose depletion-zone isotachophoresis is being used, a technique originally developed at Leiden University.