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Magnetoresistive Sensor Platform for Parallel Cancer Marker Detection
University of Utah

Principal Investigators: Marc Porter, Ph.D., and Sean J. Mulvihill, M.D.

Project Summary

Early diagnosis is critical to treating cancer and many other diseases. Today's diagnostics, however, often rely on the detection of one or, in a few instances, a small number of markers, which have limited value in early diagnosis. Notably, there is growing evidence that diagnostic, prognostic, and stratification accuracy is enhanced by detecting the presence and/or change in the levels of large numbers of markers in sera. This project focuses on creating a new nanotechnology-based platform—the multiplexed magnetoresistive immunoassay (mMRIA)—for early marker detection. It uses pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA) as the first step in platform development and performance validation. In this project, the research team led by Drs. Porter and Mulvihill is focused on enhancing MR sensor performance, synthesizing novel magnetic nanoparticles with strong magnetic signatures as labels, reducing assay time and background signal via hydrodynamics to increase reactant flux, and also designing instrumentation to rapidly and quantitatively read hundreds of addresses.

Project Goal

The goal of this project is the creation of a platform that not only detects the presence and/or change in the levels of large numbers of markers in sera, but also can handle samples of preciously limited volume and meet the demand for high-sample throughput.