Project Name: RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF INFECTIONS (ZEUS /VYCAP)
Traditional methods for serologic diagnosis of bacterial and viral infections are a mainstay of clinical laboratories. However, newer rapid diagnostic tests offer the potential to improve patient care within time and resource-limited settings. The primary goal of this project is to explore the use of microsieve-based immunoassays for rapid detection of antibodies specific to various infectious disease-causing agents. Direct microsieve-mediated capture and imaging of microbes from various matrices is also being investigated.
Microsieves are coated with bacterial or viral antigens. After application of blood or serum, antibodies specific for the antigens will bind to the antigens and can be made visible through anti-IgG/IgM antibodies conjugated to reporter molecules. Contact between an absorber and the microsieve allows for washing of the reagents needed to obtain an efficient detection of the presence or absence of infections. In this project a point-of care device is developed to test the presence or absence of relevant infections on one microsieve. Proof of concept is illustrated with a microsieve coated with syphilis-specific antigen. Serum of a patient without syphilis showed no reaction whereas serum of a syphilis patient showed a clear positive signal.