The molecular composition of systemic biofluids of living organisms is a sensitive indicator of their physiological states, useful for disease detection. The capability of observing signatures of miniscule changes in concentration of a wide variety of molecules of liquid biopsies (blood plasma and serum) is thus crucial for advancing systems biology and medical diagnostics.
Molecules of naïve organic samples are illuminated by ultrashort laser pulses. The abruptly excited molecules emit light at characteristic frequencies in the wake of the excitation. The electric field of this molecular signal is detected with femtosecond-attosecond resolution by using world-leading ultrafast laser technology. The new approach – field-resolved laser molecular fingerprinting – suits for detecting simultaneous, correlated changes in concentration of a wide variety of molecules across all types relevant to biological systems: proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids. The resultant molecular fingerprint holds promise, possibly in combination with other biomarking approaches, for improving the specificity and sensitivity of molecular disease detection.
CMF pursues the development, testing and validation of laser molecular fingerprinting for next-generation blood-based diagnostics with large-scale clinical samplings in cooperation with major health-care institutions in Hungary and abroad. This mission is driven by the vision of a reliable, cost-effective, high-throughput approach for:
- populational health monitoring,
- disease detection.
The initial focus is on detection of cancer and cardio-vascular disease conditions. To this end, an international collaborative network of clinical and research centers is being established. Long-term preservation of the invaluable blood samples collected for the above goals will be performed at cryogenic conditions in a dedicated CMF biobank. Standardized workflows are used for sample collection as well as for secure collection and management of harmonized clinical information in a database system designed for handling big data, among a highly professional quality control system with an overall thorough adherence to the GDPR provisions. Machine learning algorithms will be applied for sample classification based on their laser molecular fingerprints and established biomarkers.