Farfield to Join New Research Consortium Called "INTOPSENS"

Farfield are delighted to be invited to join a new research consortium called "INTOPSENS" combining leading research centres with industry across Europe. Intopsens will develop a highly integrated optical sensor for point of care label free identification of sepsis bacteria strains and their antibiotic resistance. The European Union will support the consortium with 2.6 MEuro, through its EU Seventh Framework programme.

Sepsis is a serious medical condition characterized by a whole-body inflammatory state caused by infection. The body develops this inflammatory response to micro-organisms in the blood, more commonly defined as blood poisoning. Sepsis can lead to septic shock, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome and death, with an associated 7% rise in mortality for every hour delay in the administration of appropriate antibiotic therapy. Sepsis reflects the current threat of multi-antibiotic resistant bacteria such as MRSA, making treatment extremely difficult and greatly reducing the efficacy of the wide range of antibiotic treatments that are available. The identification of the causative microbe in sepsis provides key data on the appropriate therapy.

Evidently, a diagnostic platform is needed that can quickly identify the presence and type of infectious micro-organism, as well as the type of antibiotic resistance genes that it carries, so as to be able to proscribe the correct type of antimicrobial treatment. Ideally it should be a rapid system with little hands-on time, so as to be used at point of care (PoC) in an intensive care unit by paramedics and GPs, says Wouter van der Wijngaart, Associate Professor at the Microsystem Technology Lab at KTH, and also Intopsens Project Manager.

The Intopsens consortium will develop a bench-top readout system and disposable lab-on-chip cartridges for detection of the bacteria and their antibiotic susceptibility from whole blood using ultrasensitive photonic biosensors.

In addition to Farfield, the Consortium partners include KTH - Royal Institute of Technology (project coordinator, SE) Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (ES) Århus University, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (DK) Universiteit Antwerpen (BE) Universiteit Gent (BE) Mobidiag Ltd (FI).

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