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Development of Nano- and micro-systems for in vitro diagnostic
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Molecular biotechnologies center (MBC)- via Nizza 52
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The development of biosensors is emerging as an important tool for the in vitro detection and quantification of i) biomarkers of diseases (e.g. cancer, cardiovascular diseases, infective diseases, …), ii) analytes of interest for food analysis.

Nano- and micro-sized systems are currently proposed as amplification systems for improving the sensitivity of analytical tools. Liposomes, RBCs-derived systems, mesoporous silica nanoparticles are examples of available systems.

These systems are properly designed in order to contain highly sensitive reporter agents (e.g. chromophores/fluorescent molecules, photoacoustic-active probes or paramagnetic NMR-detectable molecules) and to be responsive to the bio-analyte of interest.

Our current projects in this field include:

  • Detection of MMP-2 activity in biological fluids (e.g. plasma) by using enzyme-responsive LipoCEST agents for MRI;
  • Detection of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) by using fluorescent-liposomes;
  • Development of highly sensitive small and giant liposomes for revealing biomarkers of diseases (e.g. integrin overexpression). 

The aim of this thesis project is to use nano- and micro-sytems for generation of innovative highly sensitive biosensor for the detection of bioanalytes of interest in the diagnosis of diseases (e.g. cancer, caerdiovascular diseases, bacterial or viral infection) etc...


The tools employed in this project will range from chemical spectroscopies ( Uv-vis, fluorimetry, NMR) to nano-/micro-systems' charaterization (DLS, micoscopy, MRI) to biological assays development (ELISA, etc...).

The project will start with chemical development and characterization of the systems to application in biological fields (cells and animals).

Some references:

  • Ferrauto G et al. Enzyme-Responsive LipoCEST Agents: Assessment of MMP-2 Activity by Measuring the Intra-liposomal Water 1 H NMR Shift. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2017 Sep 25;56(40):12170-12173
  • Sforzi J, Ferrauto G, et al. A Simple and Fast Assay Based on Carboxyfluorescein-Loaded Liposome for Quantitative DNA Detection. ACS Omega. 2020 Jan 21;5(4):1764-1772.

Rivolgersi a:

Prof. Giuseppe Ferrauto
Ultimo aggiornamento: 11/12/2020 14:56
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