Societal Problem

The emergence of new pathogens or variations has created recently severe threats to human health (E.coli O157:H7, SARS, the avian-flu disease). The gravity of the problem resides on the fact that their impact and spreading is growing dramatically due to the ongoing increase in worldwide human mobility in combination with trade in livestock, and food products. However,detecting the source of infection through conventional analytical methods requires complicated and time-consuming protocols.

There is a need for development of rapid, efficient and reliable methods for identification in-situ of bacterial diseases and sources of infections. This device will provide:

Its impact will be enormous, reducing the incidence of infectious illness, and providing EU governments with a certificated tool to quickly monitor and survey the sources of pathogen contamination. An especial emphasis will be applied to develop and use microfabrication processes that are compatible with mass production and low cost of the devices offering a protected and disruptive technology to European enterprises. The successful achievement of this project will open the door for many other analytical miniaturisation to be developed.