Project Summary

SUMCASTEC explores radically new approach for cancer stem cells (CSCs) real time isolation (i.e. within minutes vs current 40 days) and neutralization. A novel  micro- optofluidic lab-on-chip (LOC) platform will be developed through a joint and iterative efforts by biologists, clinicians and engineers. For the first time, a single LOC will be able to deliver ultra-wide broadband radiation to compare cell spectral signatures, image subcellular features, and hence modulate CSCs microenvironment conditions with unprecedent space and time resolution. It will be driven to isolate CSCs from heterogeneous differentiated and stem cell populations, and force CSCs differentiation, ultimately inducing sensitivity to anticancer treatments. In vitro and in vivo testing along with biophysical modelling will validate the approach and establish the proof-of-principle within the project life-time, while laying the ground work for further development of future electrosurgical tools that will be capable CSCs neutralization in tissue. This will not only establish a new line of treatment for brain cancers such as Gliobastoma Multiforme and Medulloblastoma, whose initiation and recurrence were linked to CSCs, and that claim tremendous human and economic tolls, worldwide. It will also push the current boundaries of microbiological analysis by enabling microenvironment characterization/manipulation and real-time ionic channels monitoring without cytotoxic patch-clamping or electron microscopy.

All the required competences are gathered within a consortium of 6 partners :

  1. Limoges University (UNILIM in France), involving EA3842 AND XLIM labs.

  2. Bangor University (Bangor in the UK),

  3. Innovations for High Performance GMBH (IHP in Germany),

  4. Agenzia Nazionale per le Nuove tecnologie, l’Energia et lo sviluppo economico sostenibile (ENEA in Italy),

  5. Universita degli studi di Padova (UNIPD in Italy),

  6. CREO MEDICAL Limited (CREO in the UK).

The SUMCASTEC project is planned over 42 months and started on January 1st 2017.