Leader: Dr. Yongki Choi
Project Title: Electronic detection and identification of circulating tumor exosomes
The goal of this proposal is to develop a new invention for the detection of pancreatic cancer in its early stage for the best chances at effective treatment. With PI’s expertise in biotechnology, we will integrate the unprecedented sensitivity of nanoscale electronic materials with the specificity of tumor-specific peptides, which will allow us to detect, quantify, and distinguish the pancreatic cancer-exosome markers at the single-molecule level by direct electronic signal readouts. In this project, we will synthesize tumor-specific peptides, determine their detection sensitivity, and identify control parameters for their effective detection of the pancreatic cancer exosomes. We will further focus on identification and classification of the cancer-exosomes using the electronic detection signals. We will adopt advanced data analysis to determine a unique electronic ‘fingerprint’ for each exosome type and implement the un-biased, automatic data analysis for distinguishing one type from another. Finally, we will develop a microfluidic-based multilevel filtration system for on-chip exosome separation from whole blood, and integrate it with bio-transistors to realize and deliver a prototype, portable pancreatic cancer diagnostic device.