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EDGE-Tech: Emerging and Disruptive next-GEneration Technologies for POC

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EDGE-Tech Emerging and Disruptive next-GEneration Technologies for POC: Sensors, Chemistry and Microfluidics for Diagnostics

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EDGE-Tech Workshop will be focused on new, emerging and disruptive technologies with applications at the Point-Of-Care. International speakers will share their experience in the field of sensors, chemistry and microfluidics as well as technological transfer and project management strategies. In the frame of EU SMILE-Attract project, the event is organized by CNR NANOTEC and STMicroelectronics and will host other projects of Attract network.

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Abstract submission for the poster session before 22nd of October 2020 to:

smile-attract@nanotec.cnr.it

Recently, the attention paid to self-care tests and on the easy and large screening of a high number of people has dramatically increased. Indeed, the need of easy and affordable tools for the safe management of biological fluids together with self-diagnosis emerged as compulsory requirements in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, to lighten the pressure on public healthcare institutions and thus limiting the diffusion of infections. Obviously, also other kinds of pathologies (cancer or other degenerative diseases) continue to call attention to an always earlier and widespread diagnosis. The contribution to the development of this research field comes from the areas of innovative plastic and 3D microfluidics, smart chemistry and integration of miniaturized sensors, going in the direction to improve performances of in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices.

Special Issue Information: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/micromachines/special_issues/Technologies_POC

The Special Issue will be focused on new, emerging, and disruptive technologies with applications at the Point-Of-Care. The submission of scientific papers and reviews in the field of sensors, chemistry, and microfluidics as well as technological transfer and project management strategies is encouraged.

In our Special Issue, we accept papers describing easy strategies to identify diseases at the Point-Of-Care and near-the-bed level, but also dealing with innovative biomarkers, sample treatments, and chemistry processes which, in perspective, represent promising tools to be applied to the field.

This Special Issue stems from EDGE-Tech (Emerging and Disruptive next-GEneration Technologies for POC) Workshop organized in the frame of EU SMILE-Attract project, devoted to the development of innovative strategies for the early diagnostics of oral cancer from saliva, but submission is open for all researchers and scientists dealing with the above-mentioned topics.

SMILE Attract Project outline

Head and neck cancers represent the 6th most common type of cancer in Europe with around 150,000 new patients per year. Despite its severity and increasing prevalence, there is little awareness of this pathology. 60% of patients with advanced disease at diagnosis die within 5 years. The most common cancer in the head and neck region is the Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC), which refers to cancer occurring at the border of lips, palates or at the posterior of the tongue.

Tobacco and alcohol consumption, together with oncogenic viruses (like papillomavirus, HPV, or Epstein Barr virus EBV) are known as risk factors. At the early stages, there is an 85% survival rate but curable lesions are asymptomatic. Thus, most of the patients seek care when OSCC is established and surgery with postoperative radiation or chemoradiation is needed. To prevent poor outcome, early detection is then crucial. However, common diagnostic tests are very invasive, including biopsy, endoscopy to detect second primary cancer, chest X-ray and contrast tomography of head and neck.

In order to improve the quality of diagnostic and prognostic early screening tests, and their compliance for a large cohort of potential patients, a number of biomarkers from body fluids have been identified. In this context, as inflammation plays a key role in different stages of carcinogenesis, cytokines (a class of biomolecules involved in inflammatory processes) may be used as marker for cell proliferation. Moreover, the use of salivary cytokines, and in particular interleukin-10 (IL-10), is gaining particular interest as its concentration has been demonstrated to increase in saliva from patients with oral cancer (also at initial stage) and for the obvious ease of collecting samples.

Going in this direction, SMILE project will join CNR NANOTEC and STMicroelectronics to develop a diagnostic tool for the on-chip and large-scale analysis of saliva, based on (i) an innovative high sensitivity detection method, (ii) smart materials mimicking biological capture probes with high selectivity and (iii) label-free detection of selected biomarkers.

The device will be realised as a compact, simple and low-cost microfluidic platform that may be used, for example by physicians or dentists, with minimal training. Thanks to their large audience of patients and the ease-of-use of the platform, they will be made able to provide, in a near future, a large-scale screening to radically hit OSCC incidence and to preserve oral health and SMILE.

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