Team:SZTA RMG Szeged/Human Practices

Human practices


  1. Project Description
  2. Consulting with medical experts
  3. Testing the result recognition precision of our qualitative experiment
  4. Summary

I. Project Description

Our project aimed to provide a more straightforward, faster and more inexpensive way to diagnose any type of cancer. To fulfil this goal, we designed a tool, that can detect miRNA type biomarkers of a given cancer, which is present at a much higher concentration in the body fluids of those suffering from it, than a healthy individual. Cancer is very often recovered too late. To be diagnosed in time means more time for the patients, less suffering during the treatment and larger probability to be cured. Unfortunately, these kinds of treatments are very expensive, hard to access, and, on top of that, they are very harmful to the environment, since they produce a lot of waste. To summarize, it is clear that there is an urgent need for a treatment that is less costly, and, if possible, more environmentally friendly. We hereby present a method which can serve as a supplementary method in discovering cancer.

A body fluid sample must be collected from the patient to complete this medical examination. This product could be utilised extensively in the third world and countries with low GDP, due to its accessibility, rapid and economically friendly usage and results. This solution is yet to be utilized in tumour diagnostics, but due to its non-invasive nature, it is highly sought after. Our project primarily targets physicians, emergency physicians, pathologists and indirectly patients as a social target group.

II. Consulting with medical experts

We began human practices with seeking out doctors, most importantly General Practitioners and molecular biologists.
We managed to consult with

  • a General Practitioner
  • an Emergency Unit Expert
  • a Molecular biologist
  • a Pathologist who is a Molecular biologist too.

1. Talking with Márton Pipicz PhD and Renáta Gáspár PhD

First of all, we consulted Márton Pipicz PhD (General Practitioner and Emergency Doctor) and Renáta Gáspár PhD (Molecular biologist) about our project for nearly 2 hours. It happened October 11. After we had presented our project they gave us some immensely useful advice.

Renáta Gáspár PhD Check the accuracy of the polymerase again We checked the accuracy of the polymerase more times.
Renáta Gáspár PhD Collect more information about the stability of the RNA We repeatedly checked the RNA concentration in the original sample with a NanoDropTM device.
Márton Pipicz PhD Give thorough information about the exact method of storage of the body fluids We should provide a Descrition on Sample Handling to our product.
Márton Pipicz PhD Give immensely exact instructions to the doctors how they can take a sample from the patient’s body fluids We should learn more on sampling methods.
Renáta Gáspár PhD Pay more attention to the proportions of the beads We tried more experiments with different ratio of the different beads.
Márton Pipicz PhD Use different devices to monitor the changes of the size of tumours in patients who cannot be operated. We should offer our product as a complimentary method to monitor cancer patient’s state.
Márton Pipicz PhD

Renáta Gáspár PhD
You should use a complex method with different beads sensitive to different miRNAs of a certain cancer type. As a product we should redesign the ssDNAs in order to make the product able to measure a PATTERN of miRNAs.

We have learned a lot from this consultation that is why we have changed our project a bit with the help of their recommendations.

2. Meeting László Fülöp PhD (pathologist)

Successfully, we are able to talk with László Fülöp PHD (pathologist and molecular biologist). We arranged this zoom meeting October 19. Thanks to the work of the doctor, we were able to learn more about the molecular steps of our experiment.
He gave us numerous useful advice:

László Fülöp PHD We could detect microRNA not only from the urine but from the blood plasma, as well. We redesign our product user manual to use samples from multiple origins at the same time.
László Fülöp PHD Using miRNA patterns are more appropriate:
The detection of a microRNA is not sensitive enough (60-70% sensitivity), but if we examine more microRNAs at the same time we can reach 90% sensitivity (for instance the most common type of kidney cancer)
As a product we should redesign the ssDNAs in order to make the product able to measure a PATTERN of miRNAs.

According to the pathologist the non-invasive method is an extraordinarily sought-after diagnostic method therefore they would be able to test more and more patients with our device. The molecular biologist said that our method was cutting-edge as health professionals do not really use the microRNAs for detecting tumours that is why manufacturers will probably be interested in it.

3. Consulting with Albert Papp PHD (General Practitioner)

Furthermore, we organised a meeting with Albert Papp PHD (General Practitioner) October 7. We received similar suggestions. He mentioned that our devices, our method will be the future of diagnosis. He added that our method would be exceedingly popular where the population density is low.

III. Testing the result recognition precision of our qualitative experiment

1. Our survey

Our iGEM team has created a survey in order to take people’s opinions into consideration who did not participate in the project/competition. This survey has approached approximately 2000 people. From the final results we can definitely declare that we reached the same results as we had predicted. This survey verifies that our experiment results were successful because most people were able to decide adequately which test tube was the most vibrant.

2. Results

Which solution gives off the strongest light?

IV. Summary

Our project's primal target audience are

  • Pathologists,
  • Oncologists,
  • General Practitioners,
  • Patients, in an indirect way

The final product means a much faster and cheaper solution for diagnosing. It would have a great impact in Third World countries as in these areas the financial background is not always provided. Due to its reasonable price, it is easy to obtain. It is simple to use and if it was used widely, it would play a significant role in non-invasive diagnosing. This method could be used to detect any miRNAs so that changes the detection sequence fragment. Taking everything into consideration, we firmly believe that this faster and cheaper diagnosis would make a significant contribution to diagnosing with miRNA.

Follow us


Our logo