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The goal of MultiSENSE is the development of a detection and identification system for biological pathogens, which shall include both the sample preparation stage, during which target molecules are extracted directly and in parallel the ensuing nucleic-acid-based and/or immunological detection and identification steps, in order to build an integrated sample in, result out system. Disruptive technologies (e.g., advanced sensor technologies like optoelectronic sensors or electrochemical sensors), lab-on-chip technology, and innovative instrumentation are key to reaching the presently unrealized goal of identifying pathogens in parallel on both the molecular biology level via PCR and the immunological route. The chosen technologies offer several advantages: on the one hand, a small, portable, and easy-to-use device can be realized due to miniaturization; on the other, the so-called lab-on-chip technology enables operation outside of lab settings, meaning that the complete analysis including sample preparation, extraction of target molecules, etc. will be carried out in a small device the size of a microtiter plate with all necessary reagents on board. This includes dry reagent storage of lysis reagents, master mixes for the PCR, antibodies, and liquid storage of buffers. Furthermore, it will be imperative that an on-chip waste storage be included in order to eliminate contamination risk. The overall target is a sample in, result out-type handling procedure. A reduction of processing times is a further advantage owed to miniaturization and the combination of all biological processes in a small disposable chip instead of different instruments. Finally, suitably equipped biological laboratories are no longer necessary to run PCR and immunological assays as portable systems may instead be used to analyze suspicious samples directly at the point of interest. Sensor technology will be another enabling technology we will apply.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2010.1.5 | Award Amount: 9.31M | Year: 2011

For truck applications the increasing demand for electrical power when the vehicle stands still has lead to an increasing need for an on-board electric power generator which operates with high efficiency and very low emissions. A fuel cell based auxiliary power unit (APU), with a diesel fuel processor is regarded as one of the most interesting options since it combines high efficiency, low emissions and the use of the same fuel as the main engine. The overall objectives of FCGEN wer to develop and demonstrate a proof-of-concept complete fuel cell auxiliary power unit in a real application, onboard a truck. However, the vehicle demonstration objective was changed to laboratory demonstration as the project partner, CRF, who was responsible for the vehicle demonstration work package and providing the demonstration truck has left the project after 24 months and it was not possible for the FCGEN consortium to find a suitable replacement for CRF. The APU system consisting of a low-temperature PEM fuel cell, a diesel fuel processor and necessary balance of plant components will be designed to meet automotive requirements regarding e.g. size, mechanical tolerances, durability etc. High targets are set for energy efficiency and therefore this will significantly lead to emissions reductions and greener transport solutions in line with EU targets. A key point in the project is the development of a fuel processing system that can handle logistic fuels. A fuel processor consisting of autothermal reformer, desulphurization unit, water-gas-shift reactor, reactor for the preferential oxidation of CO, will be developed. The fuel processor will be developed for and tested on standard available low sulphur diesel fuel both for the European and US fuel qualities. Another key point is the development of an efficient and reliable control system for the APU, systems, including both hardware and software modules. In the final demonstration, the fuel cell based APU will be tested in laboratory environment as the first step in a defined plan towards Vehicle demonstration.

Ritzi-Lehnert M.,Fraunhofer Institute of Microtechnology Mainz
Expert Review of Molecular Diagnostics | Year: 2012

Diagnosis of infectious diseases in primary care is predominantly based on medical history and physical examination, as conventional laboratory investigations are often associated with delays that are unacceptable in medical practice. Point-of-care testing, and especially lab-on-a-chip (LoC) systems, are expected to result in a considerable reduction in associated healthcare costs and lead to fast, but appropriate and effective, personalized therapy. Although appropriate sample preparation is essential for final detection, most microfluidic-based approaches start from samples prepared by conventional laboratory procedures, therefore continuing to restrict the use of these systems to a laboratory setting. The lack of integrated sample preparation, especially for sample volumes in the milliliter range, is a major drawback of existing LoC systems. LoC systems that start with real samples and perform a full protocol from sample to result are still rare. In this article, the most recent advances in on-chip sample preparation are reviewed for microfluidic-based diagnosis of infectious diseases. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd. Source

Kolb G.,Fraunhofer Institute of Microtechnology Mainz
Chemical Engineering and Processing: Process Intensification | Year: 2013

The current paper provides an overview of recent and past research activities in the field of microreactors for energy related topics. The main research efforts in this field are currently focussing on fuel processing as hydrogen source, mostly for distributed consumption through fuel cells. Catalyst development, reactor design and testing for reforming and removal of carbon monoxide through water-gas shift, preferential oxidation, selective methanation and membrane separation are therefore under investigation. An increasing number of integrated complete micro fuel processors has been developed for a large variety of fuels, assisted by static and dynamic simulation of these systems. The synthesis of liquid fuels is another emerging topic, namely Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, methanol and dimethylether production from synthesis gas and biodiesel production. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. Source

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-PE7 | Award Amount: 1.43M | Year: 2011

In PoCyton, a revolutionary concept for the detection zone of a flow cytometer is proposed. Flow cytometers are fluorescence-based cell counters and as such are indispensable instruments in clinical and biomedical research. Over the last four decades, despite gradual technical improvements in the constituent components, the detection principle has virtually remained unchanged. Fluorescently tagged cells in suspension are made to flow through a narrow focal excitation area and then detected via the fluorescent pulse emitted by them. The narrow focus imposes restrictions on the flow rate and, as a consequence, on feasible sample volumes. Moreover, the alignment of cell-flow, excitation, and detection requires extreme precision. To this end, expensive, bulky components have to be used, preventing substantial miniaturization of flow cytometry. In PoCyton, the detection zone will be enlarged and superimposed with a pseudo-random pattern leading to a temporally extended, distinctly coded signal recorded for each fluorescing cell. In analogy to spread-signal methods, each cell will be reconstructed from the coded signal by correlation techniques. While the precision in spatial cell discrimination outperforms that of conventional flow cytometry only slightly, the signal-to-noise ratio is enhanced significantly, resulting in a notable improvement in sensitivity. In addition, the enlargement of the detection zone dramatically mitigates alignment issues. In PoCyton, various implementations and extensions towards multi-colour flow cytometry will be studied experimentally to demonstrate their high sample-throughput and miniaturization (lab-on-a-chip) potential. Ultimately, a wider range of flow cytometry methods will thus be made available for routine use in clinical laboratories and medical point-of-care diagnosis, e.g., for cancer treatment. PoCyton is a multi-disciplinary project primarily involving expertise in optics, microfluidics, micro-systems, and signal processing.

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