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Metabolic Profiling of the Vaginal Microbiome for Reproductive Health

Project description

Novel mass spectrometry technique to assess reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes

The vaginal microbiome (VM) plays an important role in reproductive health, with studies showing that dysbiosis can result in bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections and premature birth. The current methods of VM analysis are time-consuming and expensive. The EU-funded MUMVIP project is introducing a desorption ionisation mass spectrometry technique for the characterisation of the VM based upon metabolomic analysis. The researchers have successfully demonstrated this technique in a range of applications. The goal of the current project is to finalise the commercial development of the method as a diagnostic tool, assessing its potential applications in in vitro fertilisation treatments and patient stratification in cases of preterm birth.

Objective

There is ever increasing evidence that the vaginal microbiome plays an important role in reproductive health. Studies have shown that dysbiotic states can culminate in bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections and premature birth. Although the microbiome is usually characterised by 16S rRNA sequencing, the methodology is time consuming and expensive. Here we describe the development of a desorption ionisation mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) based technique which characterises microbial community structures based upon metabolomic analysis. The technique has been successfully demonstrated for a range of applications and here we describe its commercial development as a diagnostic tool, firstly, for assessing the potential success rates of in vitro fertilisation treatments and, secondly, for stratifying patients at higher risk of pre-term birth. During the first 12 months of the project the technology will be assessed using a unique sample set collected as part of two longitudinal cohort studies. During the later stages a thorough market assessment will be performed to identify the addressable demand and to evaluate market competitors. It is envisioned that this information will allow an in depth business case, including our current intellectual property position, to be written, from which further funding can be obtained for the eventual creation of a spin out company.

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Coordinator

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Net EU contribution
€ 149 633,00
Address
South kensington campus exhibition road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom

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Region
London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)