ULTRAPLACAD - ULTRAsensitive PLAsmonic devices for early CAncer Diagnosis


Cancer biomarkers circulating in body fluids have been shown to reflect the pathological process and for this reason can be used for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and choice for therapeutic interventions. It is proven that their detection is a key to new minimal-invasive detection approaches. However, barriers to wide spread use of similar approaches are lack of test sensitivity, specificity and limited availability of low cost detection platforms. This project is focused at developing a compact plasmonic-based device with integrated microfluidic circuit and functionalized nanostructures for the detection of DNA, microRNA and tumor autoantibodies cancer biomarkers. The aim is to detect cancer biomarkers circulating in blood with improvement in sensitivity of factor up to 1000, reduction in cost of platform of factor ranging from 2 to 4 compared to today’s available techniques and analysis time less than 60 minutes. The proposed detection approache will provide ultrasensitive detection of biomolecular systems with no need for complex sample chemical modifications thus allowing direct and simple assays to be performed. Within the project a bimodal industrial prototype will be developed integrating novel surface plasmon resonance imaging and plasmonenhanced fluorescence sensing technologies, respectively. Automated fabrication processes suitable for low cost mass production will be developed and applied to produce disposable integrated chips. Prototype will be specifically fabricated for early diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer. The team includes partners holding cross-disciplinary competencies needed to achieve the proposed results, including two of the first five plasmon resonance groups in the world, the inventor of surface plasmon microscopy – also known as surface plasmon resonance imaging- and plasmon-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy, and full European value chain including disposable chip and readout platforms design, development and manufacturing.


Notizie (in italiano)


eu_flag.jpgThis project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 633937


Project details

Scientific responsability: Roberto Gambari

Funding source: HORIZON 2020

Call: H2020 - Health - PHC 2014

Start date: 1/05/2015 - end date: 31/10/2018

Total cost: 6.026.455 €

EU contribution to UniFe: 213.750 €


  • Interuniversity Consortium “National Institute of Biostructureres and Biosystems” (Italy)
  • AIT - Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (Austria)
  • Ústav fotoniky a elektroniky AV ČR, v.v.i. (Czech Republic)
  • Istituti Fisioterapici Ospitalieri (Italy)
  • Universiteit Twente (Netherlands)
  • Universitaet Siegen (Germany)
  • Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT (Finland)
  • Scriba Nanotecnologie Srl (Italy)
  • Global Innovation Network OY (Finland)
  • Future Diagnostics Solutions (Netherlands)
  • Horiba Jobin Yvon S.A.S. (France)
  • AMIRES s.r.o. (Czech Republic)