Proteomic analyses of readily obtained human fluids (e.g., serum, urine, and saliva) indicate that the diagnosis of complex diseases will be enhanced by the simultaneous measurement of multiple biomarkers from such samples. This paper describes the development of a nanoparticle-based multiplexed platform that has the potential for simultaneous read-out of large numbers of biomolecules. For this purpose, we have chosen pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PA) as a test bed for diagnosis and prognosis. PA is a devastating form of cancer in which an estimated 86% of diagnoses resulted in death in the United States in 2010. The high mortality rate is due, in part, to the asymptomatic development of the disease and the dearth of sensitive diagnostics available for early detection. One promising route lies in the development of a serum biomarker panel that can generate a signature unique to early stage PA. We describe the design and development of a proof-of-concept PA biomarker immunoassay array coupled with surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) as a sensitive readout method.
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