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Nanomaterials-based portable sensors for infectious diseases and cancer detection

Grant number: 21/11531-3
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics
Principal researcher:Andrea Simone Stucchi de Camargo Alvarez Bernardez
Grantee:Marylyn Setsuko Arai
Supervisor abroad: Hakho Lee
Home Institution: Instituto de Física de São Carlos (IFSC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Massachusetts General Hospital, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:19/12588-9 - Optical biosensors for the fast detection of pathogenic bacteria, BP.DR


For a long time, cancer and bacterial infectious have been among the major causes of deaths worldwide. Despite enormous developments in the fields of diagnosis and treatments, there is still an urgent need for generic, accurate and point-of-care platforms capable of enabling the rapid and precocious diagnostics of such diseases in order toallow faster and more adequate treatment. In this scenario, we propose the use of nanomaterials in the construction of compact platforms for bacteria and cancer biomarkers sensing. This project addresses the applicant Research Internship Abroad (BEPE) at the Center for System Biology - Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, under the supervision of Profs. Hakho Lee and Cesar Castro, which have extensive experience in developing and translating platforms for cancer and infectious diseases diagnostics. The project is divided into two main goals: 1) the use of upconversion nanoparticles in compact luminescent sensors for bacteria detection and 2) the optimization of luminescent detection of extracellular vesicles using upconversion nanoparticles, magnetic nanoparticles and/or gold nanorods. The nanomaterials will be designed and obtained according to the requirements for final applications and the sensing platforms will be optimized throughout the process. We intend to explore and expand the applicant's growing experience in nanomaterials synthesis and functionalization towards the next generation of optimized sensors produced at the Center for System Biology. Additionally, this proposal complements the applicant's ongoing PhD project (PROCESSO FAPESP 2019/12588-9) which is focused on the use of upconversion nanoparticles and gold nanorods for the development of a "turn-on" luminescent sensor for whole cell bacteria detection and differentiation.

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