HIGHLY SENSITIVE AND SPECIFIC LOW-COST LAB-ON-A-CHIP SYSTEM FOR LYME DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
 

Impact

Although the project will go until the development of a pre‐competitive prototype, the HILYSENS technology will undoubtedly be further developed with the lead of the European SMEs in the consortium to obtain at the end, a powerful commercial device that will boost the current bio‐MEMS market growth.

The deer tick (Ixodes ricinus)

Scheme of a lab-on-a-chip device

The results of the HILYSENS project will permit biotechnology and bio‐MEMs sector SMEs to increase sales and turnover, leading to growth and job creation, due to the manufacture and commercialisation of the innovative lab‐on‐a‐chip device to the European healthcare sector, as well as the transfer of the base to technology to its use in human and animal diseases.

Furthermore, the flexibility of the HILYSENS tool will make possible to quickly adapt it for the detection of other bacterial diseases thus the future impact of this tool is incalculable.

Improvements in healthcare quality have an obvious impact on quality of life of all EU citizens. By enabling specific, highly‐sensitive and cost‐effective diagnostic of pleomorphic bacteria infections, HILYSENS will greatly enhance the level of service offered to European patients and ensure that healthcare providers become more effective in achieving their ultimate goal: saving lives.

HILYSENS will solve the major problem faced by health professionals when treating Lyme Disease patients: the lack of a reliable and standardised diagnostic test. HILYSENS will be the first lab‐on‐a‐chip tool that will allow specific and sensitive detection of acute, chronic and autoimmunity associated Lyme Disease infections and will ensure non‐invasive, fast, specific and easy diagnosing, prognosis and monitoring. Specific and sensitive detection of immunologic profiles will allow better point of care treatment and intervention of the disease. Moreover, acquired knowledge on the pleomorphic forms arising from the project, will permit future implementation of novel treatment options that will be offered to patients suffering from acute and chronic harmful infestations contributing, in all, to improve quality of life EU‐wide.

If not treated in the early stages Lyme Disease can progress to chronic stages of more serious symptoms even interfering with patients daily activities and causing inability to attend school or work. All of these make the long‐term cost of Lyme Disease to families, school systems and health care systems astounding. Autoimmune and chronic conditions represent immense costs for European Health systems and their economic impact goes beyond the costs of healthcare treatments. Indirect costs, such as those from lost productivity, can match or sometimes exceed the direct costs.

Earlier detection and treatment of Lyme Disease will thus greatly reduce the associated costs of the treatment and management of the illnesses, as well as increase the possibility of the patient making a full recovery and going on to live an active life as a contributor to society and the economy.

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