Rapid Detection and Differentiation of EPO Isoforms in Blood by Handheld Raman and Electrochemical Devices

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a protein that that plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. Synthetic EPO products were developed to treat anaemia however, they can also be used as performance-enhancing drugs.

In this project, we will develop a novel approach for the rapid extraction and differentiation of EPO isoforms in blood samples. The various r-HuEPO isoforms can be investigated using SERS Raman spectroscopy. We recently demonstrated a conductive nanostructured gold substrate for the SERS detection of anolytes down to 100 femto mole which we intend to employ [14].

Rapid identification of EPO isoforms will give anti-doping agencies a powerful new tool to catch drug cheats, and possibly even identify doping syndicates. In the long-term, these techniques could develop into significant tools for rapid and early detection of disease as changes in the ratio of protein isoforms in blood are known to be indicative of these conditions.


Funding / Grants

  • The Partnership for Clean Competition, USA, $133,000

Chief Investigators