Project: Surface-enhanced Raman scattering with nanophotonic and biomedical amplifying systems for an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease pathology

Acronym SPEEDY (Reference Number: EURONANOMED2017-221)
Duration 01/06/2018
Project Topic Nowadays 44 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease (AD), but only 1-in-4 people have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, a definitive diagnosis can be made only through autopsy after death, by linking clinical measures with neuropathological analysis of brain tissue. This is due to the fact that beta-amyloid (Aß) and tau aggregates, the main Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, can be detected only in the central nervous system. Recent evidences indicate that trace-amount of misfolded Aß can migrate in peripheral tissues of AD patients. This observation represents a crucial perspective for developing ultrasensitive assays which might provide an early diagnosis of AD. The aim of the project is to set-up a nanotechnologies-inspired method for an early detection of misfolded Aß in the body fluids of diseased patients versus controls, which meets the needs of reliability, ultrasensitivity, effectiveness and low cost. This will be obtained by a dedicated Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) system with advanced sensing supports including noble nanoparticles-decorated optical fibers for label-free ultradetection of Aß combined with a misfolded protein amplification assay, known as Real-Time Quaking Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) assay for amplification of Aß traces in body fluid samples. For optimized SERS detection differently shaped silver and gold nanoparticles as well as various fiber tip shapes will be tested. This technology relying on nano-decorated optical tools and cutting-edge biomedical methods will offer effective and rapid detection of amyloid biomarkers in biological fluids. The project will provide both a fundamental basis and the necessary technological advancement for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Immediate consequence is an added support to the therapeutic action to be taken. The project is of great socioeconomic relevance and offers the perspective of profitable opportunities and of reducing the healthcare and welfare costs.
Network EuroNanoMed III
Call Joint Transnational Call for Proposals (2017) for “European Innovative Research & Technological Development Projects in Nanomedicine”

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 National Research Council of Italy (CNR) Coordinator Italy
2 IRCCS Foundation Carlo Besta Neurological Institute Partner Italy
3 3D-nano Co. Partner Poland
4 Tel-Aviv University, Faculty of Engineering Partner Israel