Biomarker research is tohelp identify diseases atan early stage.
AIT conducts research on the molecular diagnostics of saliva: Early diagnosis of diseasessuch as respiratory infections or type 2 diabetes, therapy monitoring or sample matrix ininfants are potential, disruptive areas of application in medicine and pharmacy..
Research and development of
Biosensors and patient-oriented rapid tests forcomplex life-threatening diseases
Minimally invasive in-vitro diagnostics for theearly detection of diseases and therapymonitoring
Easy to collect, suitable for every age
No risk of infection
Pain and anxiety-free sampling
Fast results possible
FIELDS OF APPLICATION
Medical molecular diagnostics at the point of care
Sports and Lifestyle
Pets and farm animals
We develop solutions for non-invasive molecular dia-gnostics from saliva and other body fluids. On the onehand, the focus is on the development and validationof new biomarkers. Here, we focus in particular onepigenetic factors such as the DNA methylation stateof free-circulating nucleic acids as well as on thequantitative changes in the antibody level of patientsaffected by disease. Another focal point is the deter-mination and quantification of free-circulating andexosome-associated miRNA species in saliva andother body fluids. In order to measure these and otherbiomarkers in a patient-oriented and cost-effectivemanner, suitable biosensors and fully integratedpoint-of-care solutions are needed. The focus here isin particular on the development of new printing tech-nologies for cost-effective quantitative biosensors aswell as new electrochemical sensor systems.
In the project DIAGORAS, an EU-funded program with participants fromnine countries, saliva is used for the diagnosis of infections in the mouthand respiratory tract – with this taking place at the point of care (in thebed or on the treatment chair, and no longer centralized). The projectdevelops a diagnostic device that allows quick and accurate prescripti-ons of personalized treatments on site. The differentiation between viraland bacterial pathogens and the identification of antibiotic resistancewithin just one hour is also to help prevent the undirected use of antibio-tics which has already led to widespread resistances in pathogens.Health systems struggle with the enormous morbidity and mortality as-sociated with infectious diseases as well as the incessant increase inantimicrobial resistance. In order to adequately solve this, the develop-ment of faster and more accurate PoC diagnostics is necessary. The me-thodology is shifting from a traditional, laboratory-based approach to amultiplexed, molecular-based analysis. DIAGORAS wants to change themedical diagnosis in a disruptive manner.
PROJEKT EPI TYP II
Globally, more than 400 million people appear to be affected by diabe-tes, an increase to just under 600 million is predicted for 2030. 90 percent of those affected suffer from type 2 diabetes („adult-onset diabe-tes“). In the EpiTyp-2 project, so-called epigenetic biomarkers are to beidentified that allow an early detection of type 2 diabetes. AIT can cont-ribute its many years of experience with epigenetic biomarkers andhigh-throughput technologies for biomarker discovery to the researchproject EpiTyp-2. In the EpiTyp-2 project, the search for the diabetesearly detection biomarkers is specifically conducted in exosomes – ve-sicles with a diameter between 20 and 120 nanometers that are secre-ted by cells, often in stress or disease situations. They are present in allbody fluids and contain numerous macromolecules, proteins, nucleicacids (DNA, mRNA, micro-RNA). Exosomes play an important role inthe communication between cells.
Exosomes secreted by tumor cells have, for example, a very specificcontent (RNAs, proteins) and can transmit it to other cells. In addition,cancer patients also have more exosomes in their body fluids. Thereis therefore enormous potential for minimally invasive diagnostics. Inthe EpiTyp-2 project, AIT specifically targets the exosomes in salivaand the microRNAs contained therein – short, non-protein-translatingRNAs, which play a crucial role in many physiological and pathophy-siological processes and can specifically prevent the synthesis of pro-teins. AIT‘s second target molecule for diabetes early markers fromsaliva is the exosomal DNA or the extent of the DNA methylationfound in exosomes. DNA methylation is a reversible chemical changein the basic building blocks of the genetic make-up of cells which isalso able to switch off genes and is often an early event in the deve-lopment of diseases, e.g. in carcinogenesis. Changes in DNA methyla-tion are detectable, e.g. in plasma and saliva, and in exosomes isola-ted from them and are ideally suited as minimally invasive biomarkersfor the early diagnosis of diseases.
In recent years, an instrument box whichincludes electrochemical, magnetic and opticalmeasuring principles has been built at AIT.