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Medical diagnostics goes micro and smart (Medical diagnostics goes micro and smart)

Medical diagnostics goes micro and smart (Micro and smart automation technologies for the development of point-of-care diagnostic and testing devices)

The project focuses on Flemish companies that wish to develop diagnostic point-of-care test equipment using micro production techniques and smart automation technology. It concerns companies from the biomedical sector, the injection molding sector and the mechatronics sector.

The envisioned "point-of-care diagnostic tests" combine a plastic microfluidic chip with a portable readout device. Microproduction technology (e.g., injection molding) and automation allow such tests to be offered affordably on a large scale. In addition, the microvolumes in the assays ensure that the amount of reagents required is limited, that the assay process can be significantly accelerated (e.g., by faster heating or cooling), and that the process is accurately controllable. This can avoid the need for expensive and/or slow multipurpose infrastructure in labs or for highly trained personnel.

The project activities are aimed at rapid knowledge transfer and application. Results include:

·         An analysis of use cases from the guidance group. The challenges and requirements of these use cases drive knowledge building, demonstrators and knowledge transfer in the project.

·         An overview on the state of the art in micro manufacturing and smart automation for the various aspects of diagnosis: sample collection and preparation, sample analysis, integration of sensors in micro-devices, etc., the most relevant of which will be demonstrated in small demo setups. 

·         The development of an end-to-end demonstrator (from sampling to diagnosis) based on the common challenges:

o   o Micro-production technology (micro-fluidic chip) for simple sample collection, reagent mixing, reaction and analysis. Validation with traditional analytical equipment.

o   o Portable point-of-care test equipment for local readout, screening and analysis of test result.

o   o Exploring the limits of smart systems for:

§  incorporating sensors and intelligence into the miniaturized device or readout system for analysis or conditioning,

§  improving screening and diagnosis using easily deployable "machine learning" and "sensor fusion".

·         Understanding the development process for getting started with this technology: the typical steps, costs, timeline, dependencies, driving technology providers, ...

·         Knowledge transfer through workshops, publications, training modules, ... that provide insight into the potential and challenges of these technologies for your application.

Date:1 Jan 2022 →  Today
Keywords:in vitro diagnostics, microfluidics, microproduction, smart product, product development, medical devices, diagnostic tests, Methodology, Injection molding, miniaturization, mechatronics
Disciplines:Microfabrication and manufacturing, General diagnostics, Microfluidics/flow chemistry, Biomedical instrumentation, Biosensors, Smart sensors
Project type:Service project