Title: Ultrafast Raman Technologies for Protein Identification and Sequencing

Acronym: ProID

Call details: H2020-FETOPEN-2018-2019-2020-01

The human proteome is the whole set of protein that a human can potentially express. Most of the human proteome is known. However the proteome, being the set of proteins potentially expressed, does not give information regarding the protein really expressed in a specific person or a patient. The possibility of accessing to this fundamental information through a cost and time effective technique will revolutionize our ability to prevent, diagnose and treat most of the human diseases.
This is the commitment of ProID that aims to provide a technological platform able to record single protein Raman spectra with single amino-acid resolution. Namely, by reading the sequence of selected amino-acids along the protein chain, the platform will identify the corresponding protein. To reach this goal we want to combine advanced nanofabrications of plasmonic nanopores with ultrafast time resolved photon detectors and machine learning algorithms. More in details: i) plasmonic nanopores will be exploited to achieve single amino-acid optical excitation and enhanced Raman stimulation; ii) ultrafast and ultrasensitive Raman spectrometers will be obtained by combining the emerging technologies of SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) arrays with dedicated otpica elements which improve the sensitivity and the speed of the detector, and reduce the number of elements of the array necessary to sample a Raman spectrum; iii) bioinformatics approaches will complete the technological platform by developing specific software for discriminating the Raman spectra of proteins with reduced spectral points. Also, insightful experiments on electrophoretic translocation and augmented fluid viscosity in ultra-confined systems will contribute the molecular motion into the nanopores. Finally, to state of the art in-silico design will support the project by contributing to system optimization and data analyses/interpretation.

PI: Dr. Nicolò Maccaferri (until 12/2021), Prof. Daniele Brida (from 12/2021)

People involved: Alba Viejo Rodriguez, Dr. Ornella Vaccarelli, Prof. Alexandre Tkatchenko, Dr. Nicolò Maccaferri (Visiting Scientist)

Funding agency: European Commission (FETOPEN-01-2018-2019-2020 call)

Max EC Funding: 2 988 513,75 euros

-Start date: 2021.05.01
-End date: 2024.04.30