The development of assays and sensors for an efficient measure of clinically relevant biomarkers is a task of critical importance for the diagnosis
and prognosis of pathologies and thus is foreground for significant improvements in health care. Nano-structured materials in biomedical field
could constitute an ideal answer to those needs. Nanomaterials are expected to provide significant upgrade to the existing diagnostic tools (e.g.
increased sensitivity, lower detection limits), to generate new and safer protocols. Plus, cheaper analysis would contribute to widen their
accessibility from the population in Europe and in other countries. The present project aims at developing synthetic nanoparticles for the
determination of peptide biomarkers related to widespread diseases (cardiovascular and iron metabolism), to entail to them labels and to integrate
them into assays and sensors. Chosen methodolody is molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP), which offers a mean to the production of material
with entailed recognition properties, by exploiting a template (the biomarker) mediated synthesis. During the polymerisation functional monomers
assemble thermodynamically around the template, then are fixed by crosslinking, resulting in a material with template complementary sites. The
innovative concept of the project is to prepare MIPs in the format of nanoparticles, exploiting emulsion polymerisation and combining it with living
iniferters to build various molecular architectures. The nanosizing of the MIPs is an intriguing challenge of our era, as it offers the possibility to
downsize the synthetic polymers to the protein sizes, producing “real” molecular recognition. Benefit of the nanosize are: increased sensitivity
(attoM), selectivity, real-time measures. Outcomes of the project would be the delivery of a panel of kit/assays/sensors for the determination of
cardiovascular and iron metabolism markers. Economical impact might come from spin off creation or involvement.