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An Estonian SME with more than 25 years of experience in the field of Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy is looking for SME partners active in breast cancer diagnostics and treatment. The partners will be involved in the SME-2 project (H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020) by getting „in vitro“ samples from patients with breast cancer and from healthy persons.
The Estonian company has been manufacturing Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy instruments since 1991. The company’s instruments have been used in many fields and applications, including analytical chemistry, food, environment, biomedical and academic research.
During these years, the company has been engaged in the development of infrared and near-infrared Fourier transform (FTIR) spectrometers for laboratory as well as for field use. The company's scientists and engineers have extensive research and development expertise regarding infrared and near infrared spectroscopic equipment. For instance, they have previously developed a series of infrared space-borne spectrometers for atmospheric research.
The company has previously participated in several national and international projects connected with the development of innovative FTIR spectrometers. Now, they are putting together a consortium for the H2020-EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 SME-2 SME instrument phase 2 call. The proposal will be submitted by 23 May 2018 and the company is expecting partner offers until 1 May 2018. The project activities are planned for ca. 2 years.
The main innovation of the technology is in the developed non-invasive remote screening method for breast cancer screening. The method is using infrared spectroscopy to non-invasively detect molecular changes in women who have cancer. Specifically, infrared spectroscopy of women’s “in vitro” samples will be used to measure these changes.
The analysis can be done remotely – “in vitro” samples can be sent to a laboratory in an envelope to the analyzing center. The attenuated total reflection (ATR) measurement technique will be used as the basic sample handling and measuring technique.
The spectra of “in vitro” samples of healthy women and patients with breast cancer have been measured by infrared spectroscopy. Some spectral differences were elucidated between samples of healthy women and that of breast cancer patients. A comparative study on the FTIR-ATR spectra of breast cancer patients along with the healthy subjects has been made. The spectral absorption values of some of the specific spectral bands of biomolecules present in the hair samples for both subjects are noted. It was observed that these biomarkers are different between samples of healthy women and that of breast cancer patients. The results were further validated with statistical analysis by applying Principal component analysis (PCA), which indicated that the spectral variations are statistically significant. The project has come through stage I (starting the development), stage II (building a proof of concept), stage III (developing the solution components), stage IV (developing the testing tools and tests) and has reached the stage V – building the solution.
The partners are expected to be involved in getting „in vitro“ samples from patients with breast cancer and the same samples from healthy persons. Involvement in the further measurement of the gathered samples would be highly appreciated. These partners would have to be SMEs, e.g. private medical (research) centers and clinics.
All in all, the company is looking for a partner who has the necessary expertise and know-how to take responsibility for the following activities:
*gathering „in vitro“ samples from patients with and without breast cancer;
*measuring the „in vitro“ samples with an FTIR spectrometer.