SENTINEL aimed at developing a minimally invasive biosensor to be used in early tumour surveillance in post-operative prostate cancer patients. The biosensor is composed of a biocompatible and biodegradable injectable hydrogel to be injected under the user’s skin. Researchers incorporated star-shaped gold nanoparticles in the hydrogel, which will work as a sensitive sensor to detect specific cancer markers.
Placed under the patient’s skin, the sensor allows an optical readout of the disease state using a portable diagnostic probe. Lorena Diéguez explained that “the acquired signals are then analysed using machine learning algorithms to infer the disease status. While Remote Patient Monitoring has been predominantly applied for monitoring vital signs, the extension of such concept to monitoring high-risk profile patients would constitute a significant jump forward in the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer patients.”
This project is the result of a collaboration between Stemmatters, INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, University of Texas at Austin (UTA), Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) and Centro Clínico Académico de Braga (2CA Braga). The UT Austin Portugal Program, a Science and Technology joint venture between Portugal and the University of Texas at Austin, funds project SENTINEL.