PodiTrodi - Technology platform for Point-of-Care diagnostics for tropical diseases


Duration: 01/09/2011 – 30/11/2014
Abstract: The PodiTrodi project was an European-Brazilian cooperation project with the goal to overcome the draw-backs of current Point-of-Care tests by developing technologies for really integrated (but low-cost) sample preparation. As a first target for the technology testing for Chagas disease (caused by the protozoan parasite T.cruzi) was chosen. Ranked among the top neglected diseases by the WHO and being the fourth important cause of death among the tropical diseases Chagas represents a high socioeconomic need. The chosen technological approach structured the system in four major research areas: (1) the bioassay and the necessary sample preparation, (2) the active microfluidic cartridge, (3) novel biosensors and (4) the instrumentation. For PodiTrodi two bio-assays were developed in parallel. While a realtime PCR based assay targets the parasite`s DNA itself, an ELISA immunoassay was used to detect human antibodies against T.cruzi. Before the sample can be tested with the realtime PCR the genetic information of the parasite needs to be extracted and purified. Therefore an alcohol-free extraction for magnetic beads and silica membranes, the two major techniques for DNA extraction, has been developed. For the miniaturization of the diagnostic test the whole test procedure needed to be translated and automated in a micro format. This miniaturization was realized with an active microfluidic cartridge using a unique integrated micro pumping technology. The cartridge replaces all manual handling steps and extensive laboratory equipment. Although real time PCR and ELISA are established technologies the PodiTrodi project was also exploring the potential of new biosensor technologies. A surface acoustic wave (SAW) biosensor made of LiTaO3 has been developed, which uses the interaction of surface bound molecules and a traveling acoustic wave. For the further enhancement of the sensitivity sensitive layers based on graphene, graphene oxide, peptide nanotubes had been developed and deposited successfully on the surface of the SAW sensor. The reliable and comfortable operation of the test also relies on a smart readout instrument. In the project a modular and portable readout instrument has been designed and fabricated. The instrument provides all necessary infrastructure for the correct operation of the cartridge and biosensors. In the project running time the platform could be validated on a component level for the detection of Chagas disease. The full potential of the platform yet needs to be proven with the application of the platform technology to other tropical diseases.

Publishable Summary

Website: www.poditrodi.org

Go to top
© 2016 - mnbs.eu