Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme


Details

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Reference:

2018MFP-COFUND-17

Area:

Engineering and Architecture

Supervisor name and surname:

Josep Ferré i Borrull

Supervisor email:

josep.ferre@urv.cat

Supervisor short biography

Co-supervisor name and surname:

Beatriz Prieto Simón

Co-supervisor email:

beatriups@gmail.com

Co-supervisor institution:

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Co-supervisor short biography

PhD programme:

Technologies for Nanosystems, Bioengineering and Energy

Title of the research project:

Bio-inspired nanochannel platforms

Description of the research project:

Over the last decade nanochannel-based biosensing systems have been increasingly used for electroanalytical purposes, based on the blocked transport of electroactive probes inside the nanochannels caused by steric hindrance and electrostatic repulsion upon target binding to the bioreceptor-modified nanochannels. This project aims to design, fabricate and use bio-inspired nanochannel platforms to allow sequential detection of target analytes required to solve intrincated research questions. This is a novel approach not attempted yet by other sensing platforms and thus will be used to tackle two complex issues which are expected to have a major impact on disease prevention and management.
1. Management of bloodstream infections, a major cause of morbidity and mortality world-wide. Appropriate diagnostic, indicating whether bacteria, viruses or fungi are the cause of BSIs, is of utmost importance to direct early treatment. Delayed treatment is associated with increase in sepsis-related mortality and thus clinicians tend to use broad-spectrum antimicrobials especially for immunocompromised patients, contributing to the emergence of drug-resistant super-bugs. New approaches for early detection and treatment response in the context of BSIs can result in guided antimicrobial use (reducing emergence of drug-resistance).
Sequential detection will be used first to confirm infection in situ for high risk patients, discriminating among a broad range of pathogens (Gram-positive, Gram-negative, viruses and fungi), second, to identify the specific pathogen and provide information about antimicrobial resistance, and third, to assess treatment efficacy.
2. Unravel the role of exosomes in cancer diagnostics and guidance of treatment decisions. Exosomes are microvesicles that externally resemble their cell of origin, while their content includes various analytes, such as RNA, DNA and proteins.
Sequential detection using multilayered nanochannel structures differentially functionalised will provide information about type of exosomes, based on the external proteins, and their nucleic acid content. Blood or urine-based diagnostic information provided by the nanochannel platforms will allow monitoring of the molecular signature of a cancer over time.

Gross anual salary:

26443.80 €

Dedication:

Full time

Working hours:

37.5 hours a week

Expected start date:

European union This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 713679