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Microfluidic Approaches for High-Throughput Fungicide Screening and Sensitivity Testing

Project description

Look out, fungi – expedited rollout of exterminators is on its way

Although most fungi are not pathogenic to plants, the very few that are cause significant damage. Fungi destroy about a third of global food crops annually, not only affecting our food supply but also damaging economies and contributing to global poverty. The development of fungicides about a half a century ago was instrumental in fighting this threat, but fungicide resistance and highly aggressive strains are a growing problem. The EU-funded MAHT-FunSST project will bring fungicide development into the age of labs-on-a-chip with a novel high-throughput microfluidic screening platform that will help protect our global food supply already battling survival in the face of global climate change.

Objective

Fungicide development and screening is stuck in an innovation gap, in which it incurs staggering expenses and takes many years to get a fungicide to market, furthermore, many pathogens develop resistance against fungicides which necessitates the sensitivity screening and recalled fungicides. The present proposal is conceptualized to bridge the gap for high throughput (HT) screening of fungicides effectively, by designing the novel lab-on-chip device. Specifically, we will assess (i) baseline sensitivity of fungicides against phyto-pathogenic fungi, (ii) response of fungi to different doses of fungicides, (iii) antifungal effects induced on fungal conidia, (iv) specific enzyme inhibition by fungicide. The fungicide screening lab-on-a-chip will address the large and currently unmet need to model fungicide screening device, regarding the spatial and mechanical cues important for conidia. The project will be based on the state-of-the-art technical expertise of ELVESYS in microfluidic chip design and fabrication and will fully integrate the Experienced Researcher’s (ER) strong expertise with agricultural plant pathology, molecular plant-microbe interactions and fungicides design and screening to develop a HT fungicide screening chip. Testing and validation of the product will be by perfusion using a set of candidate fungicides. The development of lab-on-a-chip technology will result in increasing the pre- and in-field HT screening of fungicides for their efficacy, optimal dosing and toxicity. The device will minimize the cost of fungicide development and screening, thus reducing the economic burden in the EU area as well as having large implications on improving the production of food globally. Through this opportunity the ER will be immersed in a richly entrepreneurial environment at ELVESYS and exposed to marketing concepts. Together, these experiences will provide the ER with the optimal environment to become a leader in next generation tools for fungicide screening.

Coordinator

ELVESYS
Net EU contribution
€ 196 707,84
Address
172 RUE DE CHARONNE B2 2 EME ETAGE
75011 Paris
France

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SME

The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Yes
Region
Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Links
Total cost
€ 196 707,84