Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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Blood test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

adenocarcinomaEarly DiagnosisScreening ProgramSerological test


Fast, effective and low cost first level method, which consists of an experimental procedure for the formation of a protein crown on the surface of gold nanoparticles following incubation in human plasma in vitro. The protein crown is subsequently isolated from the gold particles through a specific experimental protocol and then characterized by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE).

Technical features

The present invention is based on the difference detected in the overall composition of the protein crown formed around gold nanoparticles of size equal to 100 nm after interaction with human plasma from healthy subjects and patients suffering from pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The overall composition of the corona is characterized only by polyacrylamide gel protein electrophoresis (PAGE) experiments using sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). The gold nanoparticle blood test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma consists of four phases: production and storage of plasma; formation, isolation and characterization of the protein crown; image acquisition and processing; statistical processing of one-dimensional protein profiles and predictive ability of the blood test. The main difference of the technological approach of the invention compared to the traditional proteomic one consists in the possibility of identifying anomalies in global protein expression through the exclusive use of one-dimensional electrophoresis.

Possible Applications

  • Diagnosis and monitoring of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in clinical practice
  • Design and implementation of research and development activities aimed at the development of a point-of-care device for pancreatic adenocarcinoma screening
  • Monitoring of cancer patients treated with neo-adjuvant therapy


  • High performance in terms of sensitivity and specificity
  • Reduced costs
  • Ease of use by unskilled personnel