Optical biosensors to analyze novel biomarkers in oncology.

Donzella, Valentina and Crea, Francesco (2011). Optical biosensors to analyze novel biomarkers in oncology. Journal of Biophotonics, 4(6) pp. 442–452.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/jbio.201000123


Many cancer types are characterized by poor survival and unpredictable therapy response. Easy-to-perform molecular analyses may help patient stratification and treatment tailoring. Several integrated devices have been proposed to overcome current analysis equipment limitations. They offer improved sensitivity and easy availability of parallel detection. Particularly, unlabelled optical biosensors combine the manifold advantages of integrated sensors (e.g. easy handling, portability and low-volume requirement) with detection of target molecules in their original form. Here, we review integrated optical biosensor current features, and discuss their possible application to the detection of protein variants from body fluids, with particular regard to histone modifications. Indeed, histone post-translational modifications are a set of epigenetic markers frequently deregulated in cancer. Available technology does not allow a comprehensive analysis of all histone modifications in a single patient. Thus, label-free optical biosensors may pave the way to the discovery and detection of a novel class of biomarkers in oncology.

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