Development of quartz crystal microbalance based diagnosis systems & instruments for detecting hemoglobinopathies/gmos

To develop qcm based diagnosis systems and instruments. Qcm surfaces will be coated with protein and nucleic acid probes and initially tested for their applicability in gmo detection and hemoglobinopathy diagnosis.

In the last decade, considerable attention has focused on the development of piezoelectric sensors for diagnostic determination of biological analyses (e.g. enzymes, hormones, antigens/antibodies, etc.), which are based on the change of resonance frequency of piezoelectric crystal with the change of mass loaded on the crystal. It is expected that real time devices will replace established immunoassay methodology. Specific binding between antibody and antigen has been exploited in piezoelectric immuno-sensors constructed by immobilising antibodies onto the crystal surface that then interact very selectively with the antigens to be detected in the medium. Similar recognition can be achieved between complementary nucleic acid sequences where such systems are referred to as DNA sensors. The sensing layer of the immuno or DNA sensor is prepared by physical or chemical means. The focus of our project is to develop QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance)-based systems and instruments for detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and diagnosis of heamoglobinopathies such as beta-thalassemia. For GMOs, nucleic acid-based detection systems will be used (DNA sensors) whereas peptide antibodies will be used for detection of abnormal hemoglobins (immuno-sensors). Currently commercial applications of GMOs are widely distributed throughout the world. With respect to bio-safety concerns, most of the GMOs containing food and feed materials have to carry a label. Therefore, determination of the GMO content in most food and feedstuff will become a necessity in the very near future. Most of the GMO detection methods are based on a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) which is considerably labour intensive and time consuming. Furthermore it requires a well-established laboratory and educated personnel. Compared to current methods, the system proposed by our project will be much more practical and could be used at locations lacking laboratory substructure (such as customs, etc.). Beta-thalassemia is a genetic disorder related to abnormal hemoglobins. There are two forms of the disease. Thalassemia minor (carriers) and major (disease case). The carriers are healthy persons; however children of carrier parents (both) may get the disease. Therefore, beta-thalassemia detection prior to marriage is a routine exercise in most Mediterranean countries including TURKEY. Current detection methods mainly based on electrophoresis and chromatographic techniques (HPLC) are both time consuming. Another focus of our project is to develop a practical QCM-based system and instrument for beta-thalassemia detection. Three universities (HACETTEPE, PAMUKKALE and MIDDLE EAST TECHNICAL UNIVERSITIES, METU being the coordinator), a research institute (NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR LASER PLASMA AND RADIATION PHYSICS, ROMANIA) and a commercial company (BIOLAB) will take part in the project. The work carried out by each partner will initiate/complement the other partner's contribution. Keywords: QCM (Quartz Crystal Microbalance), GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms), hemoglobinopathies (beta-thalassemia).
Project ID: 
3 466
Start date: 
Project Duration: 
Project costs: 
380 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Sensor Technology related to measurements
Market Area: 
General food products

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