Osteopontin as a Diagnostic and Prognostic Biomarker in Biofluids for Cholangiocarcinoma

MicolCholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a primary liver malignancy, and accounts for 10%-20% of all liver cancers. It is an aggressive and deadly disease, as 95% of the patients die within 5 years of diagnosis. This is due to surgical tumour resection being the only potentially curative option, and most patients display symptoms only at an advanced stage of the disease. As a consequence, it is highly desirable to develop a strategy to perform an early diagnosis of the tumour. Osteopontin is a protein that has been linked to several gastrointestinal malignancies,including CCA, and, possibly alongside other specific proteins, could act as a biomarker for CCA.

Therefore, the aim of this project is to develop a single molecule nanopore based sensor to detect osteopontin, in order to obtain a rapid and specific tool for the diagnosis and prognosis of CCA. The detection will be carried out by means of a DNA carrier, equipped with an aptamer sequence specific for osteopontin. After the successful development of the protein selective sensor, with the collaboration of Dr. Khan from St Mary’s Hospital, studies will be performed on clinical samples (urine or serum).


  • 1 year MRes + 3 years PhD in Chemical Biology, Imperial College London
    Supervisors: Prof Joshua Edel, Dr Aleksandar Ivanov, Prof Shahid Khan
  • MSc in Nanotechnologies (2018), Politecnico di Torino, Italy
  • BSc in Physical Engineering (2016), Politecnico di Torino, Italy

Aside from research, I enjoy climbing and wandering around in the outdoors.