About the project

Core question:

“How to achieve topical quantification of low molecular weight endogenous compounds for monitoring skin-disorder progression and healing?”

The aim of this project is to develop non-invasive or minimally invasive tools for topical quantification of low molecular weight endogenous compounds in monitoring skin-disorder progression and healing. More specifically we target reactive oxygen species, amino acid derivatives and free fatty acids as potential markers for skin inflammation and cancer.

Clinical routine in diagnosis of skin disorders such as inflammation and skin cancer rely on tissue biopsy and staining. Due to high costs, taking biopsies more frequently is impossible since skin inflammation and cancer affect a tremendous amount of people. It has now been established that persistent inflammations might be linked to cancer development. Therefore, detection of inflammation biomarkers, by noninvasive, i.e., biopsy less, methods in suspected cancer lesions would give an early warning on cancer onset. If paralleled with biopsy less detection of cancer biomarkers such tools would be diagnostic and, thus, highly desirable. In fact, most skin cancers are curable if detected early enough.

The unique aspect of the proposed tool is the combination of three features:

(i) a diagnostic patch that detects ratios of low molecular weight biomarkers on the skin surface

(ii) where these ratios can be accurately related to the biomarker concentrations in viable skin,

(iii) and the tool for quantifying the ratios of these biomarkers is validated in in-vitro cell based assays

The ultimate goal of the project would be a cost-efficient, point-of-care device that does not require a biopsy and minimizes the need for clinical laboratory expertise, while the endpoint has been defined as a prototype diagnostic patch which is ready for clinical proof of concept.

To succeed with this enterprise Malmö University has teamed up with seven industry partners;  Chemotechnique Diagnostics AB, Bioglan AB, in Vitro Plant-tech AB, ImaGene-iT AB, Medibiome AB, Scibase AB and Chromalytica AB, who share a genuine interest in skin related applications. Thus, the results of the project will have an immediate impact in industry and quicker return of the investment for modernizing healthcare.