IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER EARLY DETECTION IS A CRUCIAL PART OF THE TREATMENT
Being diagnosed with cancer is as devastating for the patient as it is for the loved ones and for society. Cancer is a final stage of a process characterized by accumulation of epigenetic and genetic alterations. Treatment still proves to be complex when the disease is diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Early diagnosis will significantly contribute to an effective treatment and prevent a severe course of the disease, improving the life of patients and reducing societal impact.
Together with our partners we are developing a photonic diagnostics solution for early detection of cancer by non-invasive testing, using urine as a liquid biopsy and detecting free hypermethylated DNA.
This work is supported by the project "SensorChip", in which new photonic biosensors are developed for accurate detection of biomarkers. This work is also supported by the project "Ontwikkeling universele modules microfluïdische productielijn" in which universal modules are being developed for the production of microfluidic cartridges.
Both projects are co-financed by the European Union in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
SENSITIVE MULTIPLEX DETECTION OF ANTIBODIES AGAINST SARS-COV-2
The covid-19 pandemic is on the forefront of our minds everywhere around the planet. Taking the train, joining a meeting or going to the supermarket - the concern to get infected has become our new companion.
Surfix has decided to join forces with its partners and contribute to the global fight against the covid-19 virus.
Surfix’s photonic diagnostics platform was used for serological detection of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, employing a multiplex of three different SARS-CoV-2 antigens (the Nucleocapsid Protein, the Receptor Binding Domain and the Spike Protein) immobilized on a single biochip.
The platform was also used to test its performance by determining the endpoint titer of a NIBSC plasma calibrant for SARS-CoV-2 specific antibodies. The outcome was compared with different CE-IVD registered antibody assays of well-known diagnostic companies.
The followed methods and results of both case studies can be read in our white papers:
Staff members of Surfix with various external partners wrote an article called "Asymmetric Mach-Zehnder Interferometric Biosensing for Quantitative and Sensitive Multiplex Detection of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies in Human Plasma". This open access article can be downloaded from the MDPI Biosensors website: https://www.mdpi.com/2079-6374/12/8/553/htm
PATHOGENS IN AQUACULTURE
The world population is growing and so is the demand for nutritious food. The global demand for proteins for human consumption is expected to double by 2050. One of the most productive and efficient sources is of proteins is aquaculture, which is the process of rearing, breeding and harvesting of aquatic species, in controlled aquatic environments. Fish are more efficient in converting feed into protein compared to other animals. And fish meat has a high nutritional value and contains healthy natural oils like omega-3 fatty acids. Today already 50% of all sea food consumed is obtained by aquaculture, and this number will continue to rise.
Aquaculture facilities require a system for monitoring water quality to maintain optimal conditions. Pathogens in the water are a concern and require frequent testing of the water quality at the point-of-need and not in remote laboratories. An outbreak in the water can lead to quick death of large amounts of fish. And fish that have been in contact with infected fish have to be killed as well. All in all a huge loss!
Surfix is working together with a consortium of European companies to turn its photonic diagnostics platform into a prototype system for monitoring the presence of pathogenic microorganisms for salmon by detecting specific DNA biomarkers. New biomarkers will be identified and detected with the photonic biochip. At the same time, reference tests based on DNA amplification will be developed.
More details on this project and the consortium can be found on a dedicated website: www.photo-sens.eu.