Rapid diagnostics, a new opportunity for European companies


13 entities in 8 different countries have been conducting research for three years under the European LabOnFoil project to develop new rapid diagnostic devices

They have developed a patch to detect drug consumption, a chip to find pathogens in foods, a device to monitor colon cancer and a water contamination sensor

Three companies in three different countries are already commercially exploiting devices developed under this initiative

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A patch for detecting cocaine consumption from skin perspiration, a chip to identify pathogens in foods, a device for monitoring colon cancer via a patient’s blood, and a sensor to detect environmental contamination via the analysis of marine algae.

All four applications have something in common: they all arose from the same European research project, entitled LabOnFoil. This initiative, which ended recently, was set-up to develop rapid and low-cost diagnostics devices that could be adapted to different situations and, in short, offer society new advances to improve quality of life.

The collaboration between the 13 entities from eight European countries who participated in the project has borne fruit in the form of the aforementioned four applications, which have generated new business opportunities in sectors with high added value.

“The consortium’s efficient use of resources and good management in general have enabled LabOnFoil to have a significant economic impact”. Jesús M. Ruano-López, project coordinator

No wonder some of the applications are now being commercially exploited by different consortium partners. The Spanish company POC Microsolutions, for example, is industrialising one of the prototypes for launch on the market in 2015. For its part, the Irish company Biosensia is launching patches onto the market to detect the presence of drugs, whilst DTU Nanotech (Denmark) is opening a new line of business based on one of these developments.

The LabOnFoil project, which commenced in 2008 and ended in February 2013, had a budget of 7.1 million Euro, and was co-financed by the VII European Framework Programme (EU).

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