Lithographically defined encoded magnetic heterostructures for the targeted screening of kidney cancer.

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the 7th commonest cancer in the UK and the most lethal urological malignancy; 50% of all RCC patients will die from the condition. However, if identified early enough, small RCCs are usually cured by surgery or percutaneous procedures, with 95% 10 year survival. This study describes a newly developed non-invasive urine-based assay for the early detection of RCC. Our approach uses encoded magnetically controllable heterostructures as a substrate for immunoassays. These heterostructures have molecular recognition abilities and embedded patterned codes for a rapid identification of RCC biomarkers. The magnetic heterostructures developed for this study have a magnetic configuration designed for a remote multi axial control of their orientation by external magnetic fields, this control facilitates the code readout when the heterostructures are in liquid. Furthermore, the optical encoding of each set of heterostructures provides a multiplexed analyte capture platform, as different sets of heterostructures, specific to different biomarkers can be mixed together in a patient sample. Our results show a precise magnetic control of the heterostructures with an efficient code readout during liquid immunoassays. The use of functionalised magnetic heterostructures as a substrate for immunoassay is validated for urine specimen spiked with recombinant RCC biomarkers. Initial results of the newly proposed screening method on urine samples from RCC patients, and controls with no renal disorders are presented in this study. Comprehensive optimisation cycles are in progress to validate the robustness of this technology as a novel, non-invasive screening method for RCC.

Nanoscale advances. 2023 Dec 11*** epublish ***

Selma Leulmi Pichot, Tarun Vemulkar, Jeroen Verheyen, Lauren Wallis, James O Jones, Andrew P Stewart, Sarah J Welsh, Grant D Stewart, Russell P Cowburn

The Cavendish Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Cambridge Cambridge CB3 0HE UK., Semarion Limited CB3 0HE UK., Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus Cambridge CB2 0QQ UK., Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge Biomedical Campus Cambridge CB2 0QQ UK., Molecular Immunity Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Cambridge Biomedical Campus Cambridge CB2 0QQ UK.