BioCapture is a European Training Network (ETN) funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action. 15 research groups, spread across 11 universities and institutes and 4 industrial partners in 6 different countries have come together to train a new generation of chemists/physicists/biologists through an EU-wide PhD training network.
To find new and better ways to diagnose and treat cancer is one of the most pressing tasks for researchers today.
The transformation from a normal cell into a malignant tumor cell is a multistage process, typically a progression where cells become gradually less susceptible to treatment. Early diagnosis where the cancer is still curable is therefore crucial. This emphasizes the need for sensitive, robust and affordable diagnostic tools that can sense the cellular state, commonly in the form of tumor specific protein markers, early in the process.
In this interdisciplinary project four work packages will be followed (see figure below) aiming at the design and use of high affinity responsive molecular capture materials targeting tumor specific markers. Molecularly imprinted polymers or “plastic antibodies” and other smart materials will be developed and used to detect and sense previously inaccessible tumor markers or to discover novel disease biomarkers. The training program is aimed at developing a research-oriented, creative and innovative mindset while conveying crucial theoretical insight into the key topics. With a strong training focus on robust and reproducible diagnostic and omics methods, innovative method hyphenations and meteorology the BioCapture ESR cohort will fill a pronounced skills gap in European industry.