Development of tools for personalized medicine

Introduction

Over the last years the global field of personalized medicine has developed rapidly. A part of personalized medicine, denoted personalized diagnostics, uses genomic and molecular analyses of tissues and body fluids (urine, sweat, saliva, exhaled breath condensate, blood plasma, etc.). For a wider expansion of personalized diagnostics into routine medical practice, it is necessary to identify specific substances that are characteristic for a particular disease (so-called "biomarkers"). For their detection and quantification, it is necessary to create a suitable standardized analytical method as well as to develop simple diagnostic devices. For a number of diseases, a set of biomarkers have been recently found which are formed as a consequence of particular pathological processes and which are usable for the realization and development of personalized diagnostic devices. The aim of personalized diagnostics is the monitoring of the presence/absence of biomarkers, or their temporal evolution via simple diagnostic devices. The change of the concentration levels of biomarkers is the first signal for a patient to look up a specialized medical facility, which further provides additional specific diagnostic tests. These tests are often expensive and difficult to perform at short time intervals. Diagnostics based on the detection of specific biomarkers provides timely information about the health condition even before the patient notices the first symptoms of the disease or before the disease is detectable by imaging diagnostic techniques. Another advantage of personalized diagnostic is the possibility to repeat the test without the need of a medical facility visit. Personal diagnostics has a huge potential for people with unfavourable family anamnesis, people who work in a risky workarea, etc. Also, personalized diagnosis is noninvasive, easy to use, time-saving and inexpensive.

Projects

The research is focused on the development of a simple diagnostic device (diagnostic strip) based on Lateral Flow Immunoassay (LFIA) for early-stage diagnostics of urogenital cancer diseases (bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer). These diseases were chosen because of the high prevalence and mortality and their biomarkers in urine that is an easily obtainable matrix. Diagnostic strip allows early and easy detection of pathological processes (“yes/no” answer) taking place in the body long time before the patient can even recognize the first signs of the disease that are primary leading them to medical facilities for expert examination. Thanks to this, it is possible to initiate appropriate therapy already in the early stages of the disease when the prognosis of treatment success is significantly higher.