Super-sensitive detection of Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in plasma by an innovative droplet split-and-stack approach

  • Uusitalo, Sanna (Manager)
  • Sipola, Teemu (Participant)
  • Vasama, Hannu (Participant)
  • Pennala, Riku (Participant)
  • Sumen, Juha (Participant)
  • Kokkonen, Annukka (Participant)
  • Päkkilä, Inka (Participant)
  • Pohjonen, Sari (Participant)
  • Aikio, Sanna (Participant)

Project: EU project

Project Details


The detection of biomarkers in body fluids is of great importance for disease early diagnosis. The clinical practice uses typically immunoassay methods (e.g. ELISA, Enzyme-Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay, and related techniques) for biomarker determination. Unfortunately, these techniques fail dramatically in a wide variety of cases where the concentration of biomarkers falls below the limit of detection (LOD). The Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one real example. Nowadays the AD diagnosis from blood collection is not possible just for the above-mentioned reason. The AD biomarkers are low abundant in blood and they can be determined only in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), thus requiring a highly invasive intervention on the patient (lumbar puncture) under hospitalization, causing also high costs for the public health. SensApp seeks to develop a bench-top “super-sensor” able to determine low abundant AD biomarkers simply in plasma, from peripheral blood, for very early and non-invasive diagnosis in routine clinical practice. We will develop an outstanding innovative technology that we call droplet split-and-stack (DSS), able to stack the biomarker molecules in sub-microlitre volumes on a solid support before the immunoreactions, thus avoiding diffusion limits and improving significantly the LOD. The super-sensor will be fully automated and cost-effective. An integrated micro-system in polar materials will split the mother drop of the plasma sample in tiny droplets through electric fields and will accumulate them on a microscale site, while an innovative integrated optical system will detect the fluorescence signal directly on the reaction support. SensApp will lay the foundations for a future European industrial leadership involved in all of those clinical studies where the detection of low abundant biomarkers is of vital importance for the welfare of society.
Effective start/end date1/01/1930/06/22

Collaborative partners

  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Ginolis Oy (Project partner)
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Project partner)
  • Johannes Kepler University of Linz (Project partner)
  • IRCCS Centro Neurolesi Bonino Pulejo (Project partner)
  • National Research Council (CNR) (Project partner) (lead)

Funding category

  • EU-H2020


  • H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01
  • Law