Scientific Tracks Abstracts: J Mol Biomark Diagn
Molecular tests based on specifi c protein quantifi cation from body fl uids or tissues have remarkably improved clinical practice. In oncology, they can be useful for early disease detection, treatment tailoring and prognosis prediction. Available technology does not always allow a comprehensive evaluation of proteomic alterations in patients. To move towards analysis parallelization, a technological breakthrough is needed; it can be represented by Laboratories-on-a-Chip (LOCs). Th ose devices can integrate and automate all needed sample process functionalities into an inexpensive, portable and disposable, thumb-size object. Involved processes range from biological fl uid handling and driving, heating, cooling, separating, molecule detection and signal processing. Which means integrating on the same chip optics, electronics, and micro-fl uidics. Th e component dedicated to protein detection is the bio-sensor, where target bio-molecules are somehow ?trapped? producing a proper output signal. A bio-sensor is capable of providing specifi c quantitative or semi-quantitative analytical information using a biological recognition element (biochemical receptor), which is in direct spatial contact with a transduction element. Th e recognition elements can be composed of antibodies, enzymes, hormones, receptors, etc. Optical signal use for binding detection off ers several advantages, e.g. it is immune from electromagnetic interference and is separated from electrical signals (needed for fl uid stream control and for driving electronics). In addition, unlabelled detection requires no preventive sample preparation or alteration. Th us, label-free optical biosensors integrated in LOCs may pave the way to the discovery and detection of novel biomarkers, off ering the advantages of low-cost, easy use and small volume requirements.
Valentina Donzella, B.Sc. (2003) and M.Sc. (2005) in Electronic Engineering, received her Ph.D cum laude in Engineering (Innovative technologies) in 2010, from Scuola Superiore Sant?Anna, Pisa (SSSUP, Italy). In 2009, she spent 8 months as visiting Ph.D. student of Engineering Physics at McMaster University, ON, CA. She is a postdoctoral fellow, IEEE member, working on integrated optical biosensors for biological markers as well as on silicon photonics. She is proposal reviewer for Technology Foundation (STW, NWO) in Utrecht, the Netherlands and Guest Editor for Micro and Nanosystems, Bentham Science Publisher. She is lecturer for the International Master on Communication Networks Engineering, at SSSUP.