Development of Graphene Biosensor Chip-Based Portable Electrochemical Detection System for Prostate Cancer Diagnosis(Ii)

Project Details


Prostate cancer (PC) is the second most common cause of cancer related death in men worldwide. Prostate cancer, also known as carcinoma of the prostate, is the development of cancer in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive longer the earlier the disease is diagnosed. In Taiwan, based on 10-year analysis of the standardized cancer incidence rate from 2001 to 2010, prostate cancer increased by 61.8%. The age-adjusted incidence and mortality of prostate cancer among Taiwanese men in 2011 were 29.66 people per 100,000 and 6.36 people per 100,000, respectively. National Health Research Institute recommends yearly screening of prostate cancer by digital rectal examination (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) determination for men aged >50 years or >45 years for those with a family history. Serum based PSA test lacks both sensitivity and specificity to accurately detect the presence of PC, requires adjustment for age and prostate volume, and is frequently raised in noncancerous conditions such as benign hypertrophy and prostatitis. Recently, it has been found that engrailed-2 (EN2) protein in urine is highly predictive of prostate cancer, with a sensitivity of 66% and a specificity of 88.2%. EN2 is expressed in and secreted only by the prostate cancer but not normal prostatic tissue making it a good potential diagnostic marker. Moreover, urine test is easier and less embarrassing for the patient than blood tests or rectal examinations and, therefore, likely to encourage early diagnosis.The goal of this project is to develop a portable electrochemical detection system to measure EN2 protein in urine for prostate cancer diagnosis. We will achieve this goal by incorporating graphene based biosensor and portable electrochemical analyzer. In the first year, (i) Screen printed graphene-carbon electrode (SPGCE) sensor with interdigitated structure will be fabricated by screen-printing technique, (ii) Further the sensor surface will be modified by covalently immobilizing DNA probe that contains specific sequence “TAATTA” to which the EN2 protein strongly binds to regulate transcription; DNA probe will be immobilized on carboxilated SPGCE surface via N-ethyl-N5-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide (EDC) and N-hydroxy sulfosuccinimide (sulfo-NHS) chemistry, (iii) Developed EN2 biosensor will be characterized and optimized in order to achieve better performance and higher sensitivity; interference study will be carried out by comparing the response before and after adding some interferents such as other proteins, and electroactive substances present in urine, (iv) Meantime, portable electrochemical analyzer design and implementation will be carried out. In the second year, (i) Developed portable electrochemical analyzer performance will be verified in comparison with commercial instrument, (ii) By employing the developed EN2 biosensor and portable electrochemical analyzer, calibration curve for detecting EN2 protein will be obtained in simulated urine sample, (iii) Clinical urine sample will be collected from hospital through physician Dr. Chen (Co-PI) and the EN2 in urine sample will be measured using our developed prototype, (iv) Finally the reliability of our system for prostate cancer diagnosis will be assessed with standard diagnostic methods by statistical analysis.In summary, we expect to achieve a portable and low-cost prototype with high sensitivity and specificity for EN2 detection, which will be reliable for PC screening, diagnosis, monitoring and clinical decision making.
Effective start/end date1/08/1631/10/17

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Graphene
  • Electrochemical biosensors
  • Interdigitated electrode
  • Engrailed-2 (EN2)
  • Prostate cancer


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