Lyme Borreliosis (LB) infection caused by spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi s.l. is a growing disease in central Europe. The bacterium is transmitted by the castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus). Current diagnostic methods are insufficient to reliably detect early-stage LB infection. Timely detection (or exclusion) of infection will lead to proper treatment in an earlier stage, which means that less patients develop additional complications. Furthermore, early exclusion of infection could drastically reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Then PoC-BoSens’ goal consists of the development of a portable diagnostic system for early detection of LB infected patients based on a cellular stimulation assay. The second step of the assay, the quantitative determination of released cytokine biomarkers in a fast (~15 minutes), reliable and high-sensitive system, is the focus of this project.
The technology behind the sensing platform will be defined by the combination of an array of photonic transducing elements based on integrated bottle microresonators and a microfluidic system for transportation of the test sample. The main challenge here is the successful package and readout of optical resonators without altering their sensing properties. PoC-BoSens will overcome this challenge by exploring photonic integrated circuit platform technologies, assembly, biorecognition and electronic miniaturization strategies, which will be developed by a high-qualified multidisciplinary consortium. This new technology can also be the basis for many other diagnostic applications.