Autonomous Protein Biomarker Detection Platform for a Point-of-Care

Posted by TTPUResponsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Portugal

Summary of the technology

Symbiotic project researchers have developed a new fuel cell powered portable diagnostic device, that can be adapted to detect protein biomarkers, hence allowing it to serve as basis for a wide range of services in the health monitoring and detection areas.

Description of the technology

Inexpensive, mobile, user-friendly biosensors with the potential to revolutionize healthcare by allowing individuals or organisations to instantly detect the tell-tale traces of diseases.

The EU Symbiotic project is producing such a device, which can be adapted to detect  protein biomarkers (such as those from various cancer types, infections, etc.) and runs fully integrated within a passive operating direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC), which allows for more sensitive detection. 
The device is coupled to an electrochromic display as the reading signal.

By simplifying the detection process, this  point-of-care  application will grant autonomus self-monitoring at healthcare services, increasing assay speed and flexibility, automation and reduced costs of testing, allowing for its easy use by the non-expert public.

The team is currently experimenting with specific biomarkers, such as for cancer, but are looking for other use cases.

There are two challenges, and we will welcome suggestions to any of them:
The first is to determine which disease(s) should be prioritized as for e.g. infectious diseases or some specific types of cancers,
Secondly, we are looking for the best approach to the market commercialization:  sell detection devices to health organizations or directly to the public? Licence the platform to a large health company?

Technology Owner


Technology Transfer Office

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About TTPU

Technology Transfer Office from Portugal

The i3S consortium, headed by the UPorto, brings together four institutions and researchers from several schools of the UPorto, thus consolidating an extensive collaboration between all institutions that spans many years. The long-term collaboration between IBMC, INEB and IPATIMUP, from which stems i3S, encompasses joint projects, co-supervision of PhD students, sharing of large equipment and employment of research staff under coordinated policies. Six schools of the UPorto (FMUP, ICBAS, FMDUP, FCUP, FEUP and FFUP) and three hospitals (CH S João, CH Porto and IPO) also contribute to the activities of i3S. This wide participation of schools, research institutions and hospitals in a research institute is unique in Portugal and is a valuable asset for science and technology development, while creating an environment that feeds real breakthrough research and translation of discoveries into the clinic. The new building - completed in 2015 - is also a key element in the creation of this vibrant environment. This intricate network that is i3S focuses on three Integrative Programs: Cancer, Host Response and Interaction, and Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease.

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