Projekt

Zurück zur Übersicht

Malaria diagnostic via polymerization reactions

Titel Englisch Malaria diagnostic via polymerization reactions
Gesuchsteller/in Pollard Jonas
Nummer 173771
Förderungsinstrument Bridge - Proof of Concept
Forschungseinrichtung Adolphe Merkle Institute Université de Fribourg
Hochschule Universität Freiburg - FR
Hauptdisziplin Physikalische Chemie
Beginn/Ende 01.08.2017 - 31.01.2019
Bewilligter Betrag 195'000.00
Alle Daten anzeigen

Keywords (8)

Biosensing; Diagnostic; Malaria; Polymerizations; Polymerization-based signal amplification; Biocatalysis; blood; parasites

Lay Summary (Französisch)

Lead
Chaque année, l'Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) recense plusieurs centaines de millions de nouveaux cas de paludisme (malaria). Ces chiffres comprennent les personnes qui, bien que ne présentant aucun symptôme, sont porteuses de la maladie, participant ainsi à sa propagation. Jusqu'à présent, aucune méthode diagnostique ne s’est révélée assez sensible, robuste, simple d’utilisation et suffisamment abordable pour permettre un dépistage de masse sur le terrain afin d’éradiquer la malaria.
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs du travail de recherche

Au cours de mes travaux de doctorat, j’ai réussi à identifier la présence d'un biomarqueur du parasite de la malaria par un procédé chimique simple, avec une sensibilité inégalée par d’autres méthodes. Cette observation m’a permis de mettre au point un nouvel outil de diagnostic du paludisme, adapté aux besoins d'une campagne sanitaire d'éradication de cette maladie. L'objectif de ce BRIDGE est de développer un appareil portable et autonome utilisable directement sur le terrain. Pour cela, certains problèmes techniques doivent être résolus tels que l'ingénierie d'un prototype compact contrôlant tout le processus d’analyse depuis l'entrée du sang jusqu'au signal de sortie. Dans le même temps, nous sommes en contact avec différents spécialistes du paludisme, fabricants de méthodes diagnostiques et agences gouvernementales, afin d'être mis en relation avec des clients potentiels. Nous sommes aussi en train d'identifier des partenaires pour nous assister dans le développement de notre prototype, notamment en ce qui concerne la séparation entre le biomarqueur et le sang.

Contexte scientifique et social du projet de recherche

Ce nouvel outil de diagnostic breveté pourrait constituer un outil robuste, hautement sensible et efficace pour les pays où l’on cherche à éradiquer la maladie, en permettant l’identification des  réservoirs de parasite dans la population. Nous pensons que notre méthode,  grâce à sa sensibilité et son faible coût, ouvrira ainsi la voie au dépistage de masse et contribuera à réduire la portée du paludisme.

Mots-clés :  paludisme, malaria, diagnostic, sang, parasite, polymérisation, biocatalyse.

Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 12.07.2017

Verantw. Gesuchsteller/in und weitere Gesuchstellende

Mitarbeitende

Name Institut

Abstract

Malaria remains one of the predominant causes of death in low income countries. Effective diagnostics is the key to eradicate the disease completely. For example, highly-sensitive techniques for malaria parasite detection are needed to test entire populations in endemic areas, to ensure that also people who have no symptoms are tested and treated. This eliminates the reservoir of the parasite which allows mosquitoes to be re-infected and spread the disease further. That is why I wish to develop a highly-sensitive, low-cost, easy-to-use, field-test-compatible malaria detection assay with significant advantages as compared to existing solutions. The novel test is based on the observation in my PhD work that hemozoin, a biocrystal formed in blood due to malarial infection, can be used as a catalyst for polymerization reactions. By careful selection of stable reagents, the polymerization reaction causes a precipitate to form, rendering the solution turbid. Using a simple optical readout device for the measurement of this turbidity, I believe that a breakthrough in malaria detection sensitivity can be achieved with an opportunity for significant market penetration. This novel malaria diagnostic assay could therefore have a tremendous socio-economic impact around the globe. A proof of principle set of experiments has been accomplished successfully in our laboratories, and I now wish to move from an assay in the lab to the next step towards a practical and economically viable testing device.This BRIDGE project aims to turn our diagnostic assay into a low-cost highly-sensitive device for malaria detection in blood, with the required technical partners to produce and distribute the device, and thus assist in the eradication of malaria worldwide. There are several technical hurdles which must be overcome in the course of the project: First, I will need to develop the hemozoin isolation step from the blood to avoid false positives caused for example by hemoglobin. Second, the microfluidic pathway from the consumable inlet to its reaction chamber will be designed. Finally, a dedicated turbidity measurement device encompassing a light source and a photodetector will be constructed by a hired engineer. The design of the prototype, including the reader device and consumable, will take all of these elements into account. In parallel, I will contact national malaria-control programs (our potential customers) via governmental and NGO organizations. These will include the foundation for innovative new diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva and the Swiss agency for development and cooperation (SDC). These customers and partners will specify the needs required for a field device, which will feedback into the design of our prototype. I will also look for different types of industrial partners to successfully bring our product to the market. I require partners who could provide us with already existing parts of the prototype, e.g. implementation of hemozoin isolation, and also partners with the capacity to industrially produce the device and that would preferably have an already existing route to the market of point-of-care blood diagnostic test devices.The expected outcome of the BRIDGE project will be the construction of a prototype reader-consumable system tailored to the market needs, completing the pathway from blood sampling to the diagnostic result. I will also clarify what the market needs and opportunities are and create partnerships to assist us with the volume production. The BRIDGE project will help us to establish our assay as a novel diagnostic tool for malaria eradication campaigns that can technically outperform current testing methods and be financially competitive, which will pave the way to found a start-up-company to further develop and market the diagnostic assay and device.
-