Portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster

23 January, 2020

Dear All,

New development of EPFL about portable device helps doctors diagnose sepsis faster

https://actu.epfl.ch/news/portable-device-helps-doctors-diagnose-sepsis-...

EPFL researchers have developed a highly sensitive and portable optical biosensor that stands to accelerate the diagnosis of fatal conditions like sepsis. It could be used by ambulances and hospitals to improve the triage process and save lives.

Sepsis claims one life every four seconds. It is the primary cause of death in hospitals, and one of the ten leading causes of death worldwide. Sepsis is associated with the body’s inflammatory response to a bacterial infection and progresses extremely rapidly: every hour that goes by before it is properly diagnosed and treated increases the mortality rate by nearly 8%. Time is critical with sepsis, but the tests currently used in hospitals can take up to 72 hours to provide a diagnosis.

Many scientists are working on this critical issue, including those at Abionic, an EPFL spin-off. Researchers at the Laboratory of Bionanophotonic Systems (BIOS) at EPFL’s School of Engineering have just unveiled a new technology. They have developed an optical biosensor that slashes the sepsis diagnosis time from several days to just a few minutes. Their novel approach draws on recent developments in nanotechnology and on light effects at a nano scale to create a highly portable, easy-to-use device that can rapidly detect sepsis biomarkers in a patient’s bloodstream. And their device takes just a few minutes to deliver a result, like a pregnancy test.

Because the biosensor uses a unique plasmonics technology, it can be built from small, inexpensive components, yet it can achieve an accuracy on par with gold-standard laboratory methods. The device can screen a large panel of biomarkers and be adapted for the rapid diagnosis of a number of diseases. It was installed at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Spain and used in blind tests to examine patient samples from the hospital’s sepsis bank. The researchers’ technology is patent-pending, and their findings were recently published in Small….

All my best regards.

Isabelle Wachsmuth

Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems

World Health Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

Office: +41 (0)22 791 3175

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HIFA profile: Isabelle Wachsmuth-Huguet, MSc, MPH has been working for World Health Organization (WHO) since 2003 and has 20 years of expertise on international network promoting and implementing knowledge management solutions in both high and low income countries. She is currently Project manager, Health Systems and Innovation Cluster, Service Delivery & Safety (SDS), Emerging Issues, Quality Universal Health Coverage (QUHC), at WHO Geneva. She is also the coordinator and lead moderator of the WHO Global Francophone Forum - Health Information For All (HIFA-Fr: http://www.hifa.org/forums/hifa-french). She is a member of the HIFA working group on Multilingualism.

http://www.hifa.org/projects/multilingualism

http://www.hifa.org/support/members/isabelle

hugueti AT who.inthugueti AT who.int