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Metabolic Profiling of the Vaginal Microbiome for Reproductive Health

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.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/fertility
  • /social sciences/economics and business
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/social biomedical sciences/sexual health
  • /natural sciences/chemical sciences/analytical chemistry/mass spectrometry

Call for proposal

ERC-2018-PoC
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-POC - Proof of Concept Grant

Host institution

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 149 633

Beneficiaries (1)

IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 149 633
Address
South Kensington Campus Exhibition Road
SW7 2AZ London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments