Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Chagas – a neglected disease

19.07.2012
Chagas disease is a deadly tropical illness. It is passed to humans by insects and contaminated blood transfusions, and can also be passed from mother to embryo.

Around the world, almost 10 million people are infected with the disease – mostly in Central and South America and parts of the USA. Tourism and immigration, however, are also bringing the disease to Europe.


Microfluidic cartridge with integrated reagents and pumps, developed as part of the Fraunhofer ivD platform
(http://www.ivd-plattform.fraunhofer.de).
Photo: Fraunhofer ENAS / Andreas Morschhauser

One bite can have fatal consequences

The disease is passed on by blood-sucking bugs of the Reduviidae family, whose bite contaminates the wound and ultimately transmits the infection. The acute phase of the illness starts after four weeks and can last up to another four weeks. 30 – 40% of infected people have symptoms such as local redness, swelling around the wound, fever, and nausea. Treatment is only effective if started in this phase of the illness.

After a symptomless stage, which can last for years, the chronic, acute and frequently fatal phase of the illness begins. In 20% of cases, the heart and alimentary organs expand until they fail.

Scientists are concerned because there is still no inoculation. Current methods of treatment not only have serious side effects, they are also unaffordable for many patients.

Effective test offers a chance for a treatment

Under the direction of Fraunhofer ENAS, a European-Brazilian consortium is developing an on-site test, similar to a laboratory analysis, that can detect the infection quickly and reliably.

Scientists from eight European and five Brazilian research institutions and companies are developing a compact, low-cost detection system that can find the pathogen at any location. Three partners of the Heterogeneous Technology Alliance HTA are among them: CEA Leti from France, the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nanosystems ENAS from Germany, and Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT from Finland.

The pathogen is detected in, say, a blood sample by searching for both its own DNA and the immune response from the patient’s body. The test allows highly specific diagnosis in all stages of the infection. Including sample pretreatment, the entire test system is the size of a cellular phone.

The researchers are receiving funding from the European Union and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development in Brazil. The project “PodiTrodi – Technology platform for Point-of-care diagnostics for tropical diseases“ (EU-FP7-287770) started in September 2011 and was planned to run for two and a half years. The system will later be used as a technology platform for other tropical diseases.

Further information is available at http://www.poditrodi.org.

European consortium:
• Fraunhofer ENAS (Germany)
• CEA Leti (France)
• Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT (Finland)
• ST Microelectronics (Italy)
• Haecker Automation GmbH (Germany)
• University of Aveiro (Portugal)
• CNRS, University of Montpellier, Laboratoire Charles Coulomb (France)
• BiFlow Systems GmbH (Germany)
Brazilian consortium:
• Centro de Tecnologia da Informação Renato Archer (CTI)
• Fundação Centros de Referência em Tecnologias Inovadoras (CERTI)
• Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (FioCruz)
• Centro de Componentes Semicondutores, Universidade Estadual de Campinas-UNICAMP

• Universidade Federal do Paraná

Contact:

Christian Lüdemann
Phone +49 30 688 3759 -6103
christian.luedemann@mikroelektronik.fraunhofer.de
Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics VµE
Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Strasse 2
10178 Berlin
Germany

Christian Lüdemann | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Further information:
http://www.mikroelektronik.fraunhofer.de
http://www.poditrodi.org/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

nachricht Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>