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Phospholipases A2 constitute a family of highly regulated enzymes that catalyze the catabolism of the phospholipids, liberating free fatty acids and lyso-phospholipids.

Increased amounts of PLA2s are detected when there is an inflammation or other processes associated with cell activation.

Methods have been developed for their determination, such as those using radioisotopes. However, the biological samples need different processing stages in order to achieve reliable quantity measurement. Considerable time and specialized laboratories are also required, for the correct evaluation of results.

Professor Maria-Eleni Lekka of the department of Chemistry from the University of Ioannina in cooperation with Karkabounas Athanassios, PhD of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ioannina, have invented a faster and newer method for the detection and quantification of phospholipase A2.

Patent at the University of Ioannina for the method of measuring inflammatory markers


The main purpose of the project has been the development of a fluorimetric assay for the determination of the activity of phospholipase A2 in biological samples, which could be standardized in order to obtain clinical application and eventually offer the possibility to analyze at the same time significant numbers of biological samples.

The innovation of the idea has been to immobilize or "trap" the substrates hydrolyzing phospholipases A2 into a small membrane.

The suggested method requires little time for analysis and no prior sample processing, it is more environmentally friendly and could be automated in the future, in order to evolve from an experimental level to that of the practical application.

This “new product” is currently under laboratory development. It is, however, considered to be ready, to go through a commercial procedure, with the proper funding.

The Liaison Office of the Research Committee at the University of Ioannina has provided significant support to the research team, which has managed to combine the innovative idea with inventiveness and practical application.

Patent, Industrial Property Organisation (Ο.Β.Ι.)

The innovative idea has been patented (No 1007801) by the Research Committee of the University of Ioannina and the researchers Maria-Eleni Lekka, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Karkabounas Athanassios, PhD of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Ioannina through the Industrial Property Organisation (O.B.I) for the invention entitled: “Immobilization of lipid substrates in order to develop and evaluate a fluorimetric assay for the determination of phospholipase A2 activity in biological samples” and it is valid until December 2031.


Maria-Eleni Lekka, Professor at the Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina.

Team Members: Karkabounas Athanassios, Phd, Chemist, Special Technical Scientist.