Project Acronym:  PLABAN

Full title: PLAsmonic Biosensors ANalysis of nucleic acid biomarkers
Project duration: 36 months
Coordinator: Prof. Maria Minunni, Dipartimento di chimica “Ugo Schiff”, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy

Project website address:

Executive summary

Genetic analyses are a fundamental tool in many contexts; In particular, the identification of genetic fingerprints of pathogenic microorganisms holds tremendous clinical interest, e.g. to discern the species involved in infectious diseases and traces of antibiotic resistance. PLABAN explores synergistic combinations of processes of genetic amplification, plasmonic labelling and complementary approaches of photonic sensing, with the final objective of ultra- fast and sensitive discrimination of microbial genes. Ultra-fast genetic amplification will be achieved by a photothermal device, coupling a photonic actuator to plasmonic nanoparticles in reagent master mix replacing conventional thermocyclers. Implementation of genetic amplification and plasmonic labelling will be addressed by priming the biochemical reaction on photothermal nanopartcles.. Meanwhile, we will develop an innovative set of biosensors for lab-on-a-chip application based on a plasmonic transducer or a fluorescent probe coupled to a plasmonic substrate for signal amplification and compatible with standard multiwell microplates and readers. Finally, we will test the integration of these tools in a relevant context as the identification of bacterial infections and antibiotic resistance. PLABAN consortium include Tuscan and Austrian partners holding complementary background and interest as well as the entire pool of interdisciplinary skills needed for its success, with the final vision to consolidate the European position in photonic sensing.