Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

LABMASTER LUCIA — Result In Brief

Project ID: 807844
Country: Finland
Domain: Health

A significant boost for portable blood diagnostics technology

Blood tests are probably the most powerful indicator of health – good or bad – and can point towards therapy required. EU funding has helped develop a revolutionary mobile point-of-care blood analysis and diagnostic unit.
A significant boost for portable blood diagnostics technology
From a simple haemoglobin reading to a new biomarker for cancer or expression of a certain gene, blood tests can accurately indicate disease progression. To date, their full potential has been hampered by slow and costly analysis, in part due to large immobile in vitro diagnostic (IVD) equipment.

The LABMASTER LUCIA project has radically changed the situation by using state-of-the-art technology to reduce the size of IVD equipment. “IVD devices are hard to miniaturise due to the scientific problem of sample medium signal interference,” explains Dr Tony Wahlroos, project coordinator and CEO of Labmaster Oy, the Finnish company spearheading the innovation.

Hydrated hot electrons at the heart of the innovation

Labmaster's patented Cathodic ElectroChemiLuminescence (CECL) method increases diagnostic speed and precision. Using hydrated hot electrons that bypass fluid media, CECL technology overcomes signal disturbance problems. This enables the creation of small, mobile IVD devices for fast, on-site diagnostics.

Harnessing CECL, Labmaster created Lucia, the point-of-care IVD unit. “Weighing in at only 2 kg, the Lucia improves on current IVD methods which require large expensive laboratory equipment, or have limited testing ranges,” emphasises Dr Wahlroos.

Enhanced capacity of Lucia cartridges

Accompanying the Lucia are test cartridges with antibodies to identify a range of diseases. The Lucia has a wider testing range because simultaneous tests can be run in one cartridge.

LABMASTER LUCIA has focused on the development of a cartridge that will test for general inflammatory disease. Using the biomarker C-reactive protein, or CRP, the team have completed and validated the test cartridge that is an overall indicator of bacterial and fungal infection.

“Besides that, we have a general virus infection test in development and in parallel we have cardiac vascular disease diagnostics in the pipeline,” notes Dr Wahlroos. All these are earmarked to be on the market within a year along with other tests in development.

Overcoming technical hurdles for state-of-the-art diagnostic blood testing

The project is due to end in August 2019 and the analyser for the Lucia is already completed. The multiplex test platform for cardiac diagnostics is still underway and the time frame for improvements is scheduled for the end of 2021. Technical obstacles while constructing the cardiac marker panel necessitated changing from one marker to another.

The Lucia and cartridges will be sold to hospitals and clinics in Europe and Asia via medtech distributors. One Asian distributor is secured and six more are targeted for the duration of LABMASTER LUCIA. After that, the roadmap leads to the United States for further commercial expansion.

Using the Lucia, medical staff can perform IVDs anywhere and get accurate results within 5 minutes at a fraction of the cost of existing methods. Summing up the progress of the development already achieved so early in the project, Dr Wahlroos points out: “The system developed here is a result of very good collaboration with partners. We are working in a challenging field of electrochemistry and we can now guarantee further improvement of the developed system will take place.”

Keywords

LABMASTER LUCIA, Lucia, diagnostic, IVD, cartridge, blood
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