NANOphotonic DEvice for Multiple therapeutic drug monitoring
Abstract: Project aim is the development of a novel therapeutic drug monitoring point-of-care-testing (POCT) device for the measurement of immunosuppressants and related metabolites in transplanted patients. The new device will allow the automatic measurements of therapeutic drugs and metabolites characterized by a narrow therapeutic range and serious potential side effects. Clinical benefit will be an optimized dosage of the respective therapeutic drug. The patient will be connected to the device by an intravenous microdialysis catheter to allow 48-h online measurements. Based on this minimally-invasive approach, the therapeutic drugs and related metabolites will be monitored at short time intervals. The need of mixing the dialysate with the chemical reagents and the necessity of incubation times for the bioassay implementation, unavoidable procedure for bioanalyte detection, implies that a continuous measurement of such analytes is impossible, but the miniaturisation down to micro- and nano-scales will lead to very short time intervals, of the order of a few minutes. Heart of the device will be a multi-parametric optical chip, which will make use of the recent developments in nanotechnology to convert the concentration changes of the analytes in detectable luminescent signals. Essential sections of the device will be also:
i) the microfluidic circuit before the chip, where the dialysate is mixed with the reagents necessary for the implementation of the biological assay;
ii) the optical detection system which must be characterised by high efficiency and strong compactness;
iii) the compact hardware control unit and user interface that allow instrument control and data handling.
The integration of all these sections within the POCT stand-alone device requires the convergence of competences ranging from chemistry and biochemistry to optics and medicine as well as the convergence of micro and nanotechnologies, such as micro/nanofluidics, microdialysis and micro/nanosensing.