The project aims at the development of a microfluidic test carrier for the rapid and sensitive point-of-care diagnostic of pathogens in pregnant women. A maternal infection with Streptococcus agalactiae (GBS) or Herpes simplex virus (HSV) poses an immediate threat for the newborn baby. Without proper treatment an infection of the newborn with GBS leads to an early-onset sepsis with high mortality. Likewise, the transmission of HSV can lead to Herpes neonatorum that, left untreated, will cause death of the newborn. In case the mother shows clinical symptoms, a rapid detection of the pathogen enables a targeted therapy and thereby prevents a severe disease of the newborn. Unlike current methods where the analysis takes several days, the on-site diagnostic in the delivery room enables a proper treatment within the critical time frame.
The Kreißsaal-Lab cartridge has the size of a standard centrifuge tube (50 ml) and is actuated by a laboratory centrifuge. The cartridge contains all necessary reagents for the purification of the sample and amplification of the specific bacterial and viral DNA. Thereby, a highly complex laboratory process turns into an application that rapidly provides specific results and can easily be employed in the delivery room.