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hot start for EU- Project

Summer temperatures (around 35°C) welcomed on 6th May 2015 the ULTRAPLACAD partners in the wonderful setting of Villa San Saverio, residence of the Scuola Superiore of Catania (Italy).

Partners of the Project are:

AIT Austrian institute of Technology GmbH , National Institute of Biostructures and Biosystems, ITInstitute of Photonics and Electronics, CZItalian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena, ITUniversity of Twente, NLUniversity of Siegen, DEUniversity of Ferrara, ITVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, FIScriba Nanotecnologie, ITGinolis Oy, FIFuture Diagnostics Solutions, NLHoriba Jobin Yvon SAS, FRAmires s.r.o.

ULTRAPLACAD is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, dealing with the development of a compact plasmonic-based device, with integrated microfluidics and functionalized nanostructures, for the detection of DNA, microRNA and tumor autoantibodies cancer biomarkers. ULTRAPLACAD project represents a radical change in detection of colorectal cancer by biomarkers circulating in blood (liquid biopsy).

This diagnostic platform will improve early diagnostic testing and also enable more specific selection of patients for therapy, as well as enables therapy monitoring from liquid biopsies, thus reducing invasive procedures and improving patient management. The development of ULTRAPLACAD platform enables a broad range of clinical applications and is therefore a step to saving thousands of lives and, at the same time, avoiding additional strain on the healthcare systems in developed countries (average cost of detection and annual cost for therapy, which represents approx. 7,2 billion € in Europe only).

The project team includes partners holding cross-disciplinary competencies, including two of the first five plasmon resonance groups in the world, the inventor of surface plasmon microscopy – also known as surface plasmon resonance imaging - and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy, and full European value chain including disposable chip and readout platforms design, development and manufacturing.

The kick-off meeting was held on the 6th May in Catania (Italy) and started with welcome from Prof. Francesco Priolo, president of the Scuola Superiore (School of Excellence) of Catania, and from Prof. Pietro Ragni, director of the INBB - Istituto Nazionale Biostrutture e Biosistemi that, in the person of Prof. Giuseppe Spoto, coordinates the project.

During the meeting on 6th and 7th May, at the presence of the EC Officers Dr. Sasa Jenko and Ms. Anita Kucharska, the ULTRAPLACAD partners, researchers coming from 7 different European countries, presented the project objectives, its scientific concepts and discussed about the work plan.

Besides, on 8th May, distinguished experts from institutions around Europe dealing with Clinical Chemistry and Cancer Diagnosis participated to the 1st ULTRAPLACAD External Advisory Board meeting.

The project partners had so the opportunity to discuss with Mrs. Jola Gore-Booth from EuropaColon and with Prof. Markus Paulmichl from the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Paracelsus Medical University in Salzburg about the ULTRAPLACAD specifications, receiving valuable advices, and possible synergies with other national, European and worldwide related activities.

ULTRAPLACAD project has a duration of 42 months -  stay updated about the upcoming project results.

Project Website (full version available August 2015)