“HealthCARE by Biosensor Measurements And Networking"


CAREMANis an European FP6 Integrated Project aimed to the development of a novel therapeutic drug monitoring point-of-care-testing (POCT) device for the for the determination of biomarkers

Role: Partner

Activity period: 2006-2011

Research Line: Biophotonic diagnostics


Diagnostics at hospitals have been, in most cases, based on conventional analytical techniques, or ELISA techniques based on bioassays which are not suitable for bedside or emergency room. In the last decade to some extent the analytical resources of small hospitals have been closed as well as labs have been centralised. In parallel many people realised that on the other hand an urgent need resulted regarding acute diagnostics and emergency medicine. This Integrated Project (IP) intended to achieve a validated, intelligent, fully automated diagnostic device with a modular system based on biosensor technology, combining successful transduction principles, biochemical recognition methods and communication capabilities. By these means, CARE-MAN had a long-term objective to overcome above mentioned restrictions and had the main aim to develop new medical instrumentation for the future and giving a potential of down-scaling to be used in general practices and a vision to provide new automated self-controlled equipment for patient home-care. Thus, CARE-MAN's intension can be stated to cover needs in emergency medicine as well as in case of post-operative checks or for permanent surveillance in case of chronic diseases.

From the beginning the consortium of CARE-MAN was aware to face quite a few objectives as bringing biosensor technology further, combining successful conduction principles and developing new recognition methods. In addition, modern e-health requires combining any instruments being either in the central lab or being used in acute medicine someplace in a generalised telemetric communication system and relying on present available data bases. Accordingly, the idea was to follow the advice of doctors at hospitals being well aware of the present needs and requirements, who could state the most urgent parameters of diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, coagulation disorders, chronic / acute inflammation or thyroid disorders. Since the consortium was aware that it had to cover a wide range of different analytical and medical problems it took advantage of the expertise of the partners being from hospital, from health supporting organisations, coming from instrumental industry, doing research in transduction development as well as supplying new recognition elements necessary for selectively detecting parameters for diseases. In addition, the consortium could rely on the expertise of some hospitals with respect to data handling, data base manipulation strategies and long year expertise in quality assurance. All these aspects were a prerequisite to begin CARE-MAN and bring it to a continuous success during its funding period. Within the duration of the project, co-workers in medicine, biochemistry, optics, electronics, and data treatment have succeeded in developing a large variety of new Biological recognition elements (BRE) and setting-up assays, starting to use them on four different platforms. From the beginning the consortium focused on optical detection techniques using total internal reflection fluorescence, and concentrated on a multi spot assay. Training sessions for CARE-MAN partners have been performed and especially, a summer-school in Erice 2008 has been used to demonstrate and disseminate the first results even outside the consortium. In some workshops, the background of fluorescence measurements with special needs for the different platforms, the handling of the platforms and also principles of assay development, production of BREs and transfer to the platforms have been demonstrated and have increased up the general knowledge within the consortium. On top of these internal activities, the consortium has started to demonstrate and disseminate the results in different exhibitions such as the 'Sensor+Test' in Nuremberg, the 'Biotechnica' in Hannover 2008, the Medica in Düsseldorf 2008, the EuroNanoForum 2009 in Prague and in many talks at several conferences such as the 'Europt(r)ode' in Dublin, the 'Sensor Symposium' in Dresden or many other national and international meetings. Furthermore, the list of accepted publications in peer-reviewed journals was getting longer and longer.

The project has been acknowledged, and the project logo was used in demonstration and dissemination activities. The integration of partners from academia, industry, and medical science in the CARE-MAN project into a coordinated interdisciplinary for research in nanotechnology, nanoscience and information technology will be beneficial for e-health in Europe. Thus, CARE-MAN was a step towards the visionary intention of post-operative checks, of permanent surveillance in case of chronic diseases, and even of self-control equipment for patient homecare.

Within this project the Chemical and Biochemical Optical Sensor Group was responsible of the Sub-Project “Assay” devoted to the identification of biological recognition elements for different pathologies and on the development of the related optical immunoassays to be transferred on optical platforms developed within the project. Moreover its research activity was focused on the implementation of bioassays for the detection of biomarkers of sepsis (more specifically, C-reactive protein, procalcitonin and neopterin) and, in strict collaboration with Datamed srl, on the design, realization and characterization of a novel fluorescence-based optical platform capable to perform the simultaneous detection of more than one analyte.