A new way of testing the efficacy of vaccines

Scientists from the Fraunhofer Institutes for Biomedical Engineering (IBMT) in Sulzbach/Saar and the Fraunhofer EMFT in Regensburg are working together with the companies nanoAnalytics GmbH (Münster) and innoMe GmbH (Espelkamp) on a new measurement method for testing the effectiveness of vaccines in the ViroSens project.

© Fraunhofer EMFT/ Bernd Müller
Multi-electrode layout for parallel investigation of multiple cell samples in microfluidic chips.

For this purpose, the test cells are located on multi-electrode arrays that allow their infection state to be recorded in a fully automated manner using electrochemical measurement methods. This eliminates the time-consuming staining reactions of conventional tests, which saves time and money.

However, the new method has another advantage: the cells are continuously monitored over a longer period of time. With the previously used staining tests, they are only analyzed at a specific point in time. This provides researchers with additional information about the time course of the cell reaction that was previously inaccessible. The consortium has set itself the goal of researching an appropriate complete system, including the measuring device, the associated analysis software and the electrode arrays required for cell observation, and implementing it in laboratory setups that will pave the way for a later market launch.

The "ViroSens" project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the KMUinnovativ funding program with a total of around €2 million.



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