The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the need to quickly develop diagnostic equipment in the face of a novel threat. At present, many infectious diseases like COVID-19 or HIV/AIDS do not have an adequate vaccine so patients rely on early, rapid diagnosis for effective treatment and survival. While researchers and SMEs throughout the world work tirelessly to develop life-saving surgical tools, therapeutics and diagnostic devices, the work is often carried out in small and medium-sized companies, that often struggle to overcome such long and expensive processes.
The team behind the MedPhab EU pilot line aims to cut the costs involved in research and development of diagnostic devices. It aims to create easy access for European SMEs, researchers and businesses to a unified infrastructure dedicated to manufacturing, testing, validation and up-scaling of new photonics technologies that are used for medical diagnostics.
The devices MedPhab focuses on are within three application areas: hospital use, home care devices and equipment for molecular diagnostics. In the hospital setting, solutions assist doctors by giving them real-time information on how a treatment is progressing without the need to send patient samples to a lab. The equipment for home diagnostics can be used for monitoring a patient’s recovery and for obtaining a broader picture than is currently possible.
Molecular diagnostics is about establishing a clinical perspective or diagnosing an infection based on a locally-tested serum, saliva or urine sample. The pilot line also focuses on some specific technologies, including Fibre optics, Microfluidics, Surface functionalisation, Instrumentation, Optoelectronic integration, Custom medical patches, Miniaturisation for micromodules and wearables.
The pilot line is coordinated by Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy in Finland and includes seventeen other partners from across Europe, including (Ireland) University College Cork – National University of Ireland, Cork, Stryker European Operations Limited, Radisens Diagnostics Limited; (Austria) Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft Mbh, Jabil Circuit Austria Gmbh, Genspeed Biotech Gmbh, Viennalab Diagnostics Gmbh; (Belgium) Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum, Antelope Dx; (Finland) Screentec Oy, Polar Electro Oy; (Switzerland) Csem Centre Suisse D’electronique Et De Microtechnique Sa – Recherche Et Developpement; (Netherlands) Philips Electronics Nederland Bv, Stichting Het Nederlands Kanker Instituut-Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek Ziekenhuis; (France) III-V LAB, European Photonics Industry Consortium; (Czechia) Amires Sro.
MedPhab – https://medphab.eu
Photonics21 is the European Technology Platform (ETP) for photonics, encompassing all of the products and processes around the emission, manipulation and detection of light – www.photonics21.org