science

WHY DO WE NEED CONSENSE?

Healthcare is in demand of technologies for real-time sensing in order to continuously guard the state of patients, based on real-time, precise, and reliable data. Sensors for patient monitoring are well known, e.g. sensors for monitoring heart rate, muscle action, electrocardiography (ECG), body temperature, blood pressure, and respiratory rate.1 However, these sensors all rely on physical effects rather than on the underlying biomolecular processes. The ability to continuously monitor biomolecular parameters such as peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids has the potential to revolutionise health care for continuous monitoring of disease status and treatment effect.

Present-day methods to monitor the rapid inflammatory responses of patients are either non-specific or too slow. Therefore, novel generic biosensor technologies are needed for the continuous monitoring of biomarkers at nanomolar to picomolar concentrations, for monitoring disease status and treatment effect, particularly in the field of medical immunology.

CONSENSE focuses on addressing key molecular engineering and detection challenges to develop fundamentally new principles for continuous personal monitoring. The fundamental challenge is to develop generic methods to translate molecular binding into specific and easily detectable signals.

The research goal of CONSENSE is to develop reversible, affinity-based biosensing technologies for continuous monitoring that can be applied to a variety of biomarkers and therapeutic drugs over a large range of concentrations. To ensure broad applicability, the biosensing technologies are based on general affinity binders such as antibodies, nanobodies, and aptamers, while optical detection is chosen for physical read-out.

THE CONSENSE RESEARCH PROGRAMME

CONSENSE focuses on addressing key molecular engineering and detection challenges to develop fundamentally new principles for continuous personal monitoring. 

The research goal of CONSENSE is to develop reversible, affinity-based biosensing technologies for continuous monitoring that can be applied to a variety of biomarkers and therapeutic drugs over a large range of concentrations. To ensure broad applicability, the biosensing technologies are based on general affinity binders such as antibodies, nanobodies, and aptamers, while optical detection is chosen for physical read-out. The fundamental challenge is to develop generic methods to translate molecular binding into specific and easily detectable signals.

Specific objectives:

  • Construct nanoscale biomolecular architectures that undergo large and robust conformational changes upon binding of a target molecule (WP1)
  • Develop optical read-out platforms that allow continuous optical monitoring of target molecules by detecting analyte-induced conformational switching (WP2)
  • System integration and preclinical validation (WP3)