NUMEN: Nanotechnologies for Ultrasensitive monitoring of Microbes in the human ENvironment

Project description

NUMEN is a project founded by Danish Council for Independent Research: Technology and Production, Ministry of High Education and Science (DFF-FTP– 4005-00482B).
Rapid detection of bacteria, virus, fungi or protozoa is the first step in protecting human health. However, available detection methods require hours to days. This project will develop electrochemical biosensors based on nucleic acids (NA), aptamers and antibodies (Ab) that convert the recognition of a microbe into a real-time detectable signal. This nanotechnology will be cost-effective, easy-to-handle, ultra-sensitive, and will allow rapid and simultaneous quantification of several different organisms. Biosensors exploiting target-probe NA hybridization or aptamer-ligand/Ab-antigen binding will be integrated within a multichannel microfluidic device and adapted to automatable sampling protocols, for use in environmental monitoring of drinking water supplies, recreational waters, and hospital and city air. Danish specialists from the microsensor-, pump- and measurement industry will participate in the development of the assay and the device prototype.

Project Team

Elena Ferapontova Project Leader, iNANO, Aarhus University, Denmark

Ulrich Bay Gosewinkel Team Leader at Roskilde,  Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Niels Bohse Hendriksen, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

 Andreas Massling, Senior Researcher, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Prof. Kevin W. Plaxco,  Assoc. Director, Center for Bio-engineering, Uni. California, Santa Barbara, USA

Unisense A/S,  World leading manufacturer of microsensors and instrumentation for microscale measurement, Aarhus, Denmark

GRUNDFOS Holding A/S, World's largest pump manufacturer, Bjerringbro, Denmark

TSI Inc (Danalytic ApS), World leading air-sampling company, Horsens, Denmark

Project news

2014.09.10

The project is cited in Berlingske newspaper

Project NUMEN has been highlighted in the business blog of the Berlingske newspaper. They report increasing funding of Danish research aimed at  "fingerprinting" technologies for fast, cost-effective and reliable monitoring of beverages,  food and water quality, and air contamination. Berlingske is the oldest Danish daily newspaper. The article is written in Danish. Link is here.

news

Project description in Danish

Hurtig detektion af bakterier, virus eller protozoer er det første trin i beskyttelsen mod infektions sygdomme. I dag findes der kun detektions-teknikker der kræver tid – fra timer til dage. Dette projekt fokuserer på at udvikle biosensorer baseret på elektrokemiske nanoteknologier, hvor tilstedeværelsen af specifikke nukleinsyrer (NA) eller antistoffer (Ab), omdannes til et målbart signal og dermed til genkendelse af en bestemt mikroorganisme. Sensorerne forventes at kunne opfylde følgende krav: at være kost-effektive og nemt håndterbare, at have en høj følsomhed, en lav detektionsgrænse og samtidigt sikre en hurtig og simultan genkendelse af flere forskellige mikrober. NA-sekvenser hidrørende fra problem-patogener, vil blive defineret og derefter anvendt i udviklingen af biosensorer. Som et alternativ vil de tilsvarende teknikker, baseret på Ab, udvikles parallelt. Mulige patogener omfatter mikroorganismer, der er involveret i fækal forurening, sygehus infektioner, madforgiftninger, eller som er allergi-fremkaldende. Ved at nedskalere og automatisere sensorerne vil man i fremtiden kunne skaffe bærbare ”real-time” instrumenter til kvantificering af mikroorganismer ”på stedet”. Anvendelsesområdet vil strække sig fra drikkevand og badevand til luft i sygehuse og storbyer. Specialister i mikrosensorer , pumper og luftmåleapparater fra de danske firmaer Unisense, Grundfos og Danalytic vil være involveret i udviklingen af metoder, prototyper og deres kommercialisering.

Ministry DFF