Microfluidic sample handling and tailored biotechnology are key technologies for rapid and reliable on-site detection of pathogens. While test strip-based detection systems are already available for the determination of individual pathogens, this technology is not suitable for the analysis of complex pathogen populations, such as wound fluid. In the project "Microfluidics-based detection of microbacteriological strains and their antibiotic resistance in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers" (MIDARDI), Fraunhofer ENAS collaborated with a team of German (Fraunhofer IZI-BB, BiFlow Systems GmbH) and Indian (Manipal University, Achira Labs Ltd.) experts. The aim of the project was an on-site detection of pathogenic agents in wounds and the determination of possible antibiotic resistances in order to be able to quickly initiate a targeted treatment. In the project, Fraunhofer ENAS focused mainly on sample preparation including DNA amplification, DNA digestion and DNA hybridization.
The background of the project is the steady increase of obesity and type-2 diabetes in India and Europe. These diseases are often accompanied by neuropathies and thus a reduction of the sense of feeling. Patients often develop wounds with impaired wound healing, especially in the foot area. Since traditional analytical methods require several days, there is a strong need for a rapid test to determine the lead germs as well as their antibiotic resistance.
The consortium was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research BMBF and the Indo-Germanic Center for Science and Technology (IGSTC) (grant number: 01DQ15017A).
The developments are currently continued in the project Midardi D2P(Microfluidic Based Detection of Microbial Communities and Antibiotic Responses in the Management of Diabetic Foot Ulcers and other applications - from Demonstrator to Prototype, grant number 01DQ19013A).