Test Bed Vision:

“Early and accurate cancer and disease diagnosis can save lives”

Diagnosing cancers and other diseases at early stages can save lives. For example, diagnosing lung cancer at Stage IIA rather than Stage IV increases five-year survival from 13% to 46%. That would save thousands of lives a year in Australia. Similarly, early detection of an infectious disease outbreak is critical to enable containment and treatment strategies whether it be disease outbreaks among livestock or humans.

This test bed aims to develop diagnostic tools to detect the emergence of disease at early stages. Its goal is to develop and validate novel infrared-shifted CYBERTONGUE® sensors for real-time measurement of key disease biomarkers in blood samples and tissue explants. It will focus on the detection of specific proteases for the initial proof of concept because they are implicated in many pathological processes.

CSIRO’s proprietary CYBERTONGUE® protease sensors have been used to measure thrombin, caspase, plasmin, bacterial proteases and matrix metalloproteinases and are being commercialised for applications in food. This technology platform can be leveraged to achieve rapid impact for clinical and biosecurity outcomes using a two-pronged strategy. It will be adapted to measure the levels of key protease biomarkers in blood to provide early diagnoses of cancers and infections, and for passive transdermal imaging allowing clinicians and researchers to follow the progress of diseases and develop novel therapies.

This test bed is led by Helen Dacres from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity. Other participants include Stephen Trowell, Michelle Baker and Murat Gel. This research test bed is a collaboration by staff from CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity and Manufacturing Business Units.