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A Singapore research institute has developed an innovative and accurate point-of-care system for the diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI). This point of care diagnostic device is based on microfluidic system with dielectrophoresis (DEP) on-chip concentration module which can detect Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria.
The institute seeks to partner SMEs, MNEs or research / healthcare institutions through licensing or research cooperation agreements.
Infection in any part of the urinary system is called UTI. It is one the most common type of bacterial infections, usually caused by E.coli and causes significant healthcare burden. UTI is usually diagnosed by laboratory analysis of urine culture. The institute has developed a faster, easy-to-use and an economical diagnostic device which can diagnose UTI at point of care facility.
This portable, point-of-care diagnostic system developed by the Singapore research institute is a simple, automated device which detects E.coli using the DEP-enhanced microfluidic sandwiched immunoassay method. The total system consists of a microfluidic delivery sub-system, temperature control unit and DEP on-chip concentration module. The entire system including dilution, mixing, pumping and waste collection parts uses micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) technology for developing a compact, portable point of care UTI detection system.
The sandwiched immunoassay is performed on the micro fabricated biosensor chip or the microfluidic platform. After screening several different antibodies on traditional micro-well immunoassay platform, the sensitive and specific antibodies pairs against E.coli bacteria were selected and immobilized on the micro fabricated biosensor chip surface which is used for sandwiched immunoassay.
The DEP technology can concentrate the E.coli bacteria 1000 times. The DEP forces used to retain bacteria react to the anti-E.coli capture antibodies on the surface. This DEP-enhanced microfluidic immunoassay, can detect E.coli at the concentration level of 100,000 colony forming unit per millilitre (CFU/ml).
The institute is keen to establish partnerships with industry players (SMEs of all sizes, MNEs or research/healthcare institutions e.g. healthcare institution or healthcare technologies provider).
The type of partnerships sought can either be:
i) a licensing agreement where the partner can license the technology to offer as a product or service to their customers or
ii) a research cooperation agreement where the partner can undertake joint development with the Singapore research institution to offer to introduce new products to targeted markets/segments.
This accurate and sensitive point of care UTI detection system requires just 1 hour to run the assay, in comparison with 5 hours required for a traditional 96-well assay. It is a user-friendly test requiring a small volume of sample.
This UTI diagnostic device can be used in primary care and clinics, enabling faster detection of UTI. It can also be used in hospitals and intensive care units for monitoring UTI, and modify antibiotic therapy accordingly.
This is beneficial especially in rural areas, with limited diagnostic laboratory facility. This low cost, portable device can be used by the clinicians to diagnose UTI on-time, before the condition worsens.
Patents are granted for Singapore.
The Singapore institution seeks to work with SMEs of all sizes, MNEs or research/healthcare institutions in a licensing or research cooperation agreement partnership.
The partner sought could be a healthcare institution or healthcare technologies provider.
Under a licensing agreement:
- The partner can license the technology to offer as a product or service to their customers.
Under a research cooperation agreement:
- The partner can undertake joint development with the Singapore research institution to offer to introduce new products to targeted markets/segments.