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Current research at Molecular Biotechnology and Diagnostics

​The biotechnology research involves molecular biotechnology and novel in vitro diagnostic methods, analytical applications of novel bioaffinity assays, label technologies, recombinant proteins and genetically engineered antibodies.

The research is concentrated on factors and methods involving human health, food and environment. The main objective is to develop new, rapid and effective in vitro diagnostic assay concepts utilizing immunochemistry and nucleic acid hybridization.
 
Research is also carried out on clinically new analytes that can be used to determine different pathological conditions. The intention is that the results of the research program on long term are used to particularly support the diagnostic industry in Finland.

 

Focus areas of Molecular biotechnology and diagnostics:


Nucleic acid diagnostics


The aim of the research is to develop homogenous nucleic acid assays and simple pretreatment methods for biological sample materials. Various pathogenic microbes are the analytes of interest. Also, research is carried out to utilize lanthanide labels in the detection of nucleic acids. Principal investigator: Ari Lehmusvuori

 

 
Environmental and food diagnostics

The research is concentrated on the diagnostics of food samples and environmental diagnostics. Novel methods of various bioaffinity-based assays are under development to improve the diagnostics. Of the environmental samples, especially the detection methods of pathodenic cyanobacteria are actively developed.  Principal investigator: Markus Vehniäinen

 

 
Basic research supporting diagnostics

The research is carried out to support development of various kinds of diagnostic assays. Currently the research has been concentrated on the diagnostics of prostate cancer. Several potential biomolecules are studied to find feasible markers of cancer. Also, new sophisticated methods are studied to differentiate the aggressive forms of prostate cancer from benign prostate overgrowth.  Principal investigator: Kim Pettersson

 


Point-of-care diagnostics


The goal of the research is to develop diagnostic methods (mostly immunoassays, nucleic acid assays, and assays of clinical chemistry), that can be applied for example to near-patient- or environmental on-site diagnostics. The performance of the assays has to be nearly equal to assays carried out in central laboratories. Furthermore, the assays have to be rapid and easy to use. The research has especially been focused on the diagnostics of cardiac infarctions and infectious diseases, but also on the development of applicable assay technologies. Principal investigator: Saara Wittfooth

 


Molecular engineering of binder proteins


The research group is specialized in production of binder proteins by means of genetic engineering. Our special know-how is to produce tailor-made recombinant antibodies for the needs of bioanalytical applications. Principal investigator: Urpo Lamminmäki

 


Bioaffinity assay technology research


The aim of the research to respond to the new challenges of in vitro -assays by means of supporting development of simple high-performance assay technologies. Research is concentrated on luminescence-based label technologies and assay technologies. Especially applying of luminescent lanthanide compouds up-converting nanochrystals in diagnostic applications is focused. In addition to label technologies, novel homogenous assay technologies and specific lanthanide labels and molecular binders are under research. Principal investigator: Tero Soukka

 


Bio-organic chemistry


Novel luminescent label technologies are under research and development in the laboratory of bio-organic chemistry. The labels can be utilized in various biochemical applications. Currently the research is concentrated on two focus areas: novel, highly luminescent labels of high stability and lanthanide chelate luminescence modulation based 'on-off'-switches.

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