Superhydrophobic lab-on-chip measures secretome protonation state and provides a personalized risk assessment of sporadic tumour

N. Malara, F. Gentile, N. Coppedè, M. L. Coluccio, P. Candeloro, G. Perozziello, L. Ferrara, M. Giannetto, M. Careri, A. Castellini, C. Mignogna, I. Presta, C. K. Pirrone, D. Maisano, A. Donato, G. Donato, M. Greco, D. Scumaci, Giovanni Cuda, F. CasaleE. Ferraro, S. Bonacci, V. Trunzo, V. Mollace, V. Onesto, R. Majewska, F. Amato, M. Renne, N. Innaro, G. Sena, R. Sacco, F. Givigliano, C. Voci, G. Volpentesta, G. Guzzi, A. Lavano, E. Scali, U. Bottoni, Enzo M. Di Fabrizio

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23 Scopus citations


Secretome of primary cultures is an accessible source of biological markers compared to more complex and less decipherable mixtures such as serum or plasma. The protonation state (PS) of secretome reflects the metabolism of cells and can be used for cancer early detection. Here, we demonstrate a superhydrophobic organic electrochemical device that measures PS in a drop of secretome derived from liquid biopsies. Using data from the sensor and principal component analysis (PCA), we developed algorithms able to efficiently discriminate tumour patients from non-tumour patients. We then validated the results using mass spectrometry and biochemical analysis of samples. For the 36 patients across three independent cohorts, the method identified tumour patients with high sensitivity and identification as high as 100% (no false positives) with declared subjects at-risk, for sporadic cancer onset, by intermediate values of PS. This assay could impact on cancer risk management, individual's diagnosis and/or help clarify risk in healthy populations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Journalnpj Precision Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 19 2018

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OCRF-2016-CRG5
Acknowledgements: This paper is dedicated to the memory of our colleague Prof. Ugo Bottoni. This work has been partially funded from the Italian Ministry of Health (Project n. GR-2010–2320665) and (Project n. GR-2010–2311677) by the project Interregional Research Centre for Food Safety & Health (IRC_FSH) (cod. PON a3–00359), granted to the Department of Health Science, University of Magna Graecia. The authors also acknowledge financial support from KAUST funding through CRG5 project OSR award #: OCRF-2016-CRG5. NC acknowledges Nicola Zambelli and Giacomo Benassi for technical support. NM acknowledges Prof. Bruno Silvestrini and Gianluca Rotta for their precious scientific support and Nastassia C. Garo for her technical assistance. The authors would like to thank the patients and all health professionals involved at the University of 'Magna Graecia' and Mater Domini Hospital and ANASTE nursing home.


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