In this COMPAMED.de interview, project coordinator Dr. Alethea Vanessa Zamora Gómez talks about the challenges the researchers had to overcome and explains how the PoC system works.
Dr. Alethea Vanessa Zamora Gómez, you and your team developed a rapid test that can test for multiple infectious diseases at the same time. How does it work?
Dr. Alethea Vanessa Zamora Gómez: The sensor is based on an optical principle. The sensor surface is coated with a bioreceptor layer, which – depending on the specific biomarker or target molecule in question - binds this biomarker. The bond prompts a change in the sensor’s optical properties.
Which diseases could be detected with this point-of-care diagnostic platform?
Dr. Zamora Gómez: We focused on the detection of cytokines as part of the research project. Those are small proteins associated with infections - including tuberculosis or Q fever - and autoimmune diseases. That said, the sensor can be adapted to detect any biomarker that binds to an antibody or an aptamer. Examples include biomarkers for cardiovascular diseases, biomarkers for various types of cancer, those related to COVID-19, etc.
Sensors with varying bioreceptor layers will be able to detect different biomarkers for different diseases. In this setting, the sensitivity pertains to the optical sensor, whereas the specificity applies to the bioreceptor layer.