The project

The deer tick (Ixodes ricinus)

Annual Lyme Disease rate per 100,000 inhabitants in Europe (GIDEON Informatics, Inc.)

The aim of HILYSENS is to develop a novel lab-on-chip diagnostic tool to improve clinical diagnostic, disease monitoring and treatment of Lyme Disease by enabling specific and sensitive detection of the human serological response against its causative agent: Borrelia burgdoferi. Lyme Disease is the most common tick-borne infection in Europe with around 85,000 new cases per year and its incidence is increasing due to climate change. Current laboratory diagnostic methods lack sensitivity and specificity to detect early cases as well as late manifestations of the disease such as chronic or autoimmune-related infections. For this reasons, disease incidence is underestimated as many cases go mis- or undiagnosed. Late, delayed, or inadequate treatment can lead to serious symptoms such as neuroborreliosis or arthritis, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.

HILYSENS will develop a specific multi-antigen assay in a lab-on-a-chip device to detect Borrelia infections.

HILYSENS will provide a compact and robust lab-on-chip system, designed to work with small volumes and without the need of expert operators. This tool together with a portable reader and user-friendly software will enable more precise, accurate and reproducible testing making it possible to become the standard tool for the disease diagnosis. A novel production approach for the lab-on-a-chip will be developed which will enable to target really low mass-production costs, overcoming one of the main issues of the lab-on-a-chip technology and opening great market opportunities for the participant SMEs. Sensitive and reliable patient diagnosis provided by HILYSENS device will optimise resources available to medical practitioners, heavily reducing the current costs of the disease, increasing profitability and most importantly, patients' quality of life.

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