RAIS Project Description and Objectives

Scalable, point-of-care and label-free microarray platform for rapid detection of Sepsis

Microarrays are a powerful set of technologies which are widely used for the detection of pathogenic micro-organisms, proteins and Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, among others. Most commercial equipment relies on large readers (also called scanners) and labelled detection, whereas most of the advanced research-level portable and label-free designs suffer from one of more drawbacks, including insufficient sensitivity and specificity, high cost and sophisticated implementation and reduced scalability (number of spots).

The overall objective of the RAIS project is to develop a new point-of-care label-free microarray platform, based on a proprietary interferometric lens-less microscopy design, which overcomes existing problems, and to validate it for quantifying levels of specific Sepsis biomarkers within 30 minutes (see figure below).

Sepsis is a potentially fatal whole-body inflammatory reaction caused by severe infection and, with a mortality rate of 35%, is responsible for ∼20,000 deaths per day worldwide. The cost of Sepsis is high – and rising. In 2008, > €10 billion was spent on hospitalizations for Sepsis in both Europe and USA. The rapid detection of Sepsis, essential to increase the survival rate of the patient/victim, is an ideal proof-of-concept to demonstrate the disruptive capability of the new proposed tool being developed within RAIS. However, it could also be extended to perform other types of disease screening or multiple simultaneous diagnoses, especially those requiring a large number of biochemical targets (more than 1 million) on a single microarray to be rapidly screened.

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