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Fast sepsis test can save lives
Date:12/22/2010

Although it is the third most frequent cause of death in Germany, blood poisoning is frequently underestimated. In this country, 60,000 persons die every year from some form of sepsis, almost as many as from heart attacks. The Sepsis Nexus of Expertise states that patients arriving at the intensive care ward with blood poisoning only have a 50% chance of surviving. One of the reasons for the high mortality rate is the fact that patients are not correctly treated due to late diagnosis. The doctor and the patient used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for the laboratory analysis.

In future, a new mobile diagnostics platform will be guaranteeing fast and low-cost infection diagnostics even while the patient is being transported to the hospital. It's called MinoLab and it consists of a plastic card the size of a credit card that is inserted in an analysis unit that is smaller than a notebook. This system provides findings in less than one hour to enable the doctor to prescribe the life-saving therapy. This is based on magnetic particles that dock onto the cells to be studied in a blood sample and run through the system fully automatically with magnetic force. At the end of the process, the diagnosis is made with magnetic sensors. MinoLab is presently being developed in a project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research by the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig, Germany in collaboration with Magna Diagnostics, a company hived off from the Fraunhofer Society. Other project partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) in Berlin as well as the companies Siemens, Dice, microfluidic Chip Shop and the Austrian Institute of Technology.

Dr. Dirk Kuhlmeier, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, explains how all that works: "After taking a sample of blood, magnetic nanoparticles bind themselves to the target cells in the blood sampl
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Contact: Dr. Dirk Kuhlmeier
dirk.kuhlmeier@izi.fraunhofer.de
49-341-355-369-312
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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