Selected pilot SPARK projects:

A method for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

The mass spectrometry (MS) based analysis of the lipid dysregulation of body fluid samples of pancreatic cancer patients and healthy volunteers enables to build up the statistical models, which may be used to determine the level of probability of the patient suffering from pancreatic cancer. The whole methodology is based on accurate performance of multiple steps, including mainly the sample collection, storage, transport, and processing, followed by analysis using ultrahighperformance supercritical fluid chromatography - mass spectrometry (UHPSFC/MS), shotgun MS and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI), followed by multivariate data analysis (MDA) of obtained absolute quantitative data. The method is suitable for high-throughput screening of the high-risk individuals. 10,000 samples can be analyzed per year per 1 MS system and 1 operator. The validation study with 400 samples was performed in the Czech Republic and discriminated patients in stage I to IV from healthy controls with an accuracy ≥ 95%.



New highly selective interface for phosphoproteome profiling

The production of highly pure biomolecules, for example, proteins, polypeptides, oligosaccharides, or nucleic acids, is a key requirement for their use in medicine and life sciences. In particular, they are widely used for in vivo applications, such as for the production of efficient and selective biopharmaceuticals, including targeted bioactive therapeutics, recombinant proteins, or vaccines. The development of suitable materials and purification methods for these biologically active compounds is an important topic in current biomedical research. The specificity of anodic one-dimensional (1D) TiO2 nanotubes homogeneously decorated by Fe3O4 nanoparticles (TiO2NTs@ Fe3O4NP), surmounted by their unique properties, and may open new pathways for the isolation and identification of clinically important biomolecules and for a whole range of in vitro life science applications.




New approach to the safer pharmaceutical treatment of IBD and nephrotoxicity of 5-aminosalicylates

The structural similarity of 5-ASA to paracetamol (acetaminophen) and phenacetin, drugs with well documented nephrotoxic potential, and the nephrotoxicity of 5-ASA in preclinical animal models, lend further support to the hypothesis that 5-ASA does initiate the interstitial nephritis, papillary necrosis and nephrotoxicity of unknown origin. Our results have shown that detoxification products of acetaminophen metabolism and the compounds with structure similar to acetaminophen are able to significantly induce decrease of cell viability (human hepatocellular cell and renal proximal tubular cell models were used). Protection against production of these (nephro-)toxic compounds has been proven with promising results.



Staple microfibers for preparation of wound covers and bandages for poor healing wounds and burns

Some people suffer from poor healing of wounds that suppurate, swell and hurt. Diabetes patients generally tend to exhibit slower healing of wounds. This results from worse blood supply of tissues and higher sugar contents. Therefore, these covers containing biopolymers (hyaluronic acid and/or chitosan) and silver compound have been developed. Hyaluronic acid is a unique biopolymer used for therapeutic application that has won recognition as a versatile surface material improving biocompatibility with beneficial effects on wound healing. Chitosan is a form of polysaccharide chitin and it is used for the production of skin substitutes and preparing bandages providing hydration during so called wet healing.



Portable Audiometer

Our solution uses a combination of a calibrated measuring device, smart phone, comprehensive methodology for telemetric examination and centralized management and evaluation software. Unlike conventional medical devices used in medical practice and already available solutions for home screening based on the smartphone application, this solution offers the possibility of clinical examination without the need of the professional staff assistance, at a lower price and while maintaining quality and evidence of the measurements, possibility of a real-time measurement at the problem occurrence time, instant data processing and sharing through the platform with the otolaryngologist.