A Lateral Field Excited Acoustic Wave Sensor for Detecting Cancer Biomarkers

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Abstract Summary

Testing for and diagnosing cancer is a notoriously invasive and time-consuming procedure, especially using tissue biopsy. Tissue biopsy also relies on physical indicators, such as tumors, and this makes certain cancers very difficult to diagnose. Successful cancer treatment lies in detecting the cancer as early as possible. The purpose of this research was to investigate the possibility of utilizing the lateral field excited (LFE) device to detect biomarkers using liquid biopsy. Specifically, this research focused on sensing circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as an indicator for pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer was the chosen disease because of late clinical presentation making treatment nearly impossible. Currently, Dartmouth College has a leading research group developing a localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) sensor for pancreatic cancer that uses gold nanorods with attached peptide nucleic acid (PNA) to attract mutKRAS, the ctDNA of choice. Collaboration is ongoing with Dartmouth researchers to understand the LSPR sensor, it’s abilities and limitations, and to produce an LFE sensor that can exceed the LSPR capabilities. Testing has been completed to find the ideal electrode configuration for the LFE sensor platform and two samples were produced and tested with varying sensor surface curvature. Future work includes testing the samples in a system very similar to Dartmouth’s, and also modifying the PNA to attach directly to the LFE quartz crystal.

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Engineering & Information Sciences
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