BoostLab4-3: Pep4Sense - Cost-effective peptide-modified flexible surface plasmon resonance (SPR) sensor chips for in vitro diagnostics
January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024
RWTH Aachen, IWE1 (Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering 1), ABBt (Chair of Biotechnology)
The goal of the Pep4Sense project is to revolutionize the application of surface plasmon resonance, SPR, technology for in vitro diagnostics. SPR techniques are a "gold standard" for the study of molecular interactions, but the materials and processes for fabricating sensor chips has been unchanged for decades and is neither sustainable nor forward-looking; furthermore, there is a high cost per assay for the analysis of clinically relevant analytes or therapeutic compounds.
Pep4Sense envisions the use of energy-efficient, biogenic materials for sensor chip manufacturing that will significantly reduce the cost per diagnostic test. While organic and biogenic polymers will replace the use of high refractive index glass, conventional, chemistry-oriented, costly processes for realizing biosensor layers will be replaced by low-cost, only 1 eurocent per m2, and scalable adhesion-mediated peptide technology. Such peptides will specifically bind to the SPR interfaces and be used with affibody constructs as specific receptors for biomarker detection such as liver cancer and influenza virus.
Overall, this project aims to achieve high "Technology Readiness Level", TRL, development of our combined platforms, their conformity assessment for laboratory and diagnostic use, and the creation of prototypes for near-market solutions for cost-effective and sustainable SPR technology.