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Development of CePO4 nanostructures aiming to detect the colorectal cancer

Grant number: 23/06854-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2023
Effective date (End): July 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Alexandre Zirpoli Simões
Grantee:Isabela Bochembusio Maghiani
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia (FEG). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Guaratinguetá. Guaratinguetá , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07296-2 - CDMF - Center for the Development of Functional Materials, AP.CEPID


The costs of the health sector have increased significantly in recent years due to the aging of the population and the emergence of difficult-to-treat conditions such as cancer. To mitigate the costs associated with medical care and increase the chances of cure, early diagnosis is essential. Therefore, the use of biosensors provides important information about the detection, monitoring and prognosis of diseases in a quick, reliable, and inexpensive way. Moreover, all these factors all crucial for the implementation of point-of-care tests. Among the materials used to create biosensors, nanostructures base on metal oxides have attracted much attention due to properties such as adsorption capacity, effective surface area for the immobilization of biomolecules, and efficient charge transfer between biomolecules and electrode. Among the semiconductor oxides that stand out for application in biosensor matrices are CePO4, due to their biocompatibility, the isoelectric point (pI) being compatible with biomolecules, and the possibility of preparing nanostructures with different morphologies. Within this context, this work aims to develop electrochemical biosensors based on CePO4 nanostructures. The synthesized materials will have their structural and morphological properties characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, etc. The nanostructures will be prepared using hydrothermal techniques. The synthesis parameters will be adjusted aiming the growth of nanostructures with defined morphology and size. A printed circuit board (PCB) containing three electrodes, with gold working and counter electrodes and a silver-silver chloride (Ag/AgCl) reference electrode will be used as substrate for the construction of the biosensor. The surface of the nanostructures and heterojunctions will be modified with cystamine, glutaraldehyde, DMF, or another suitable solvent to ensure good adhesion of the nanostructures during deposition on the working electrode. Next, different biomolecule immobilization routes will be tested to ensure targeted immobilization and obtain biosensors with better sensitivity. The performance of biosensors for disease detection will be evaluated by electrochemical measurements (cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry, and impedance) regarding sensitivity, selectivity, stability, and reproducibility.

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