DETECT EBOLA IN 8 MINUTES? ANTHRAX IN 7 MINUTES ?
The aim of the Fastgene project is to exploit the unique features of Microfluidics to provide the world fastest qPCR system for medical diagnosis. Indeed, Fastgene can detect the presence of pathogens such as Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax agent) and Ebola virus in less than 8 mins (which means 7 times faster than conventional off-the-shelf apparatus). More importantly, this outstanding reduction in the duration of the assay, does not affect qPCR amplification volume, efficiency and sensitivity which are on par with conventional apparatus.
WHY IS SO IMPORTANT TO BE FAST AND SPECIFIC?
The 2014 Ebola outbreaks demonstrated that currently available diagnostic tools are not up to tackle effectively widespread epidemics.
Indeed, current devices are:
- either fast but lacking sensitivity, meaning that they don’t allow early diagnosis.
- or sensitive but time consuming, meaning that they need several hours to produce a result that can be processed by the doctor.
2. THE HISTORY OF THE FASTGENE PROJECT
ELVESYS COMMITTED TO THIS GOAL: DEVELOP THE FASTEST SPECIFIC DIAGNOSTIC TOOL
The Fastgene system allows ultra-fast assays typical of research oriented setups, while retaining the same performance of off-the-bench systems in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Such performances are made possible thanks to the most sensitive and reliable diagnostic method: the real-time Polymerase Chain reaction (qPCR).
FASTGENE: FROM A PHD THESIS WORK TO THE MOST INNOVATING SYSTEM OF 2014
Elvesys is a French startup in microfluidics founded in 2011. Since then, Elvesys has created a new start-up every year. In 2012, it obtained fundings from the DGA for Fastgene,which it is managed in partnership with the ENS. In 2014 Elvesys was awarded at the “Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge” thanks to Fastgene.
Guilhem Velvé Casquillas, CEO and founder of Elvesys, patents a novel microfluidic-based thermalization system for cell biology.
Guilhem Velvé Casquillas, together with his associates, founds Elvesys microfluidic innovation Center in March 2011.
Elvesys receives funding from the French ministry of Army (DGA) to carry on and develop project Fastgene.
Elvesys leads project Fastgene in partnership with the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) of Paris.
Elvesys is awarded at the “innovation 2030 worldwide challenge” thanks to the project Fastgene.
3. THE SYSTEM AND ITS PERFORMANCES
MICROFLUIDICS AND QPCR : FASTGENE’S POWERFUL WEAPONS AGAINST DISEASES
The Fastgene diagnostic system is based on the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), a molecular test that detect bacterial and viruses DNA. The Fastgene technology uses a patented microfluidic thermalisation technique using both the relevant advantages of microfluidic chips and Elveflow high performance pressure controllers.
OUTSTANDING THERMALIZATION PERFORMANCES ENABLES ULTRA-FAST DETECTION
Microfluidcs thermalization is at the basys of Fastgene, enabling it to be the fastest microfluidic-based diagnostic tool to our knowledge. Indeed, the Fastgene system has been tested on Anthrax and Ebola simulating agents in 7 minutes making it 7-14 times faster than current systems. Furthermore, Fastgene detection limit is on par with off the bench systems.
Molecular detection efficiency of the Fastgene system: despite being 6 times faster, the Fastgene system presents the same amplification efficiency as commercial state-of-the-art system. The Fastgene system presents also the same sensitivity (1,2).
Molecular detection of the Fastgene compared to a commercial state-of-the-art system: the Fastgene system enables a detection 6 times faster.
4. THE PEOPLE
DR. MAËL LE BERRE
Phd in Microfluidics
Manager of the Project
DR. PIERRE-EMMANUEL DOUARRE
R&D MOLECULAR BIOLOGY ENGINEER
PhD in Microbiology
Responsible of molecular biology
MARIE CURIE PHD FELLOW
Msc in Applied Physics
Responsible of thermics and fluidics
DR. AHN DUC VU
R&D OPTICS ENGINEER
PhD in Physics
Responsible of optics
R&D ELECTRONICHS ENGINEER
Msc in Electrotechnics
Responsible of Electronics
Msc in Electrotechnics
1. Houssin, T., Cramer, J., Grojsman, R., Bellahsene, L., Colas, G., Moulet, H., Minnella, W, Pannetier, C., Leberre, M., Plecis Chen, Y. (2016). Ultrafast, sensitive and large-volume on-chip real-time PCR for the molecular diagnosis of bacterial and viral infections. Lab Chip. doi:10.1039/C5LC01459J
2. D. Lee, P.-J. Chen and G.-B. Lee, Biosens. Bioelectron., 2010, 25, 1820–1824.
3. S. Kirchner, K. M. Krämer, M. Schulze, D. Pauly, D. Jacob, F. Gessler, A. Nitsche, B. G. Dorner and M. B. Dorner, Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 2010, 76, 4387–4395.
ELVESYS HAS BEEN AWARDED SEVERAL TIMES AND COVERED IN MANY NATIONAL MEDIAS FOR ITS FASTGENE TECHNOLOGY
Fastgene project presented for the TV show “Des inventions et des hommes” (“Inventions and Men”) on M6 channel
Fastgene awarded at the Concours Mondial d’Innovation 2030 (Innovation 2030 Worldwide Challenge) with the French Prime Minister
Fastgene awarded and presented for Grand Prix de l’Innovation Paris (Paris Innovation Grand Prize):
“Make a difference: if you found out in less than 10 minutes the origin of your fever, it is also thanks to us”
Corresponding press article in l’Entreprise here
OTHER PRESS ARTICLES ABOUT FASTGEN PROJECT
Press article in 20 minutes about fastgen here : “It is one of Hollywood films favorite subject. If movies like Outbreak, The Flu, or Contagion shows with more or less realism the consequences of a pandemia on the civil society, in real life ELVESYS developed a technologie enabling to detect any virus or bacteria three times faster than with any regular methods by using microfluidics.”
Press article in la Tribune about fastgen here with an interview of ELVESYS President, Guilhem Velve-Casquillas. This latter explains: “[The Fastgene project] is based on my thesis and is very important for me. It will enable to detect any virus, bacteria or tumors in less than 10 minutes, at lower costs, without going to an hospital.”
Press article in l’Usine Nouvelle about fastgen here: “[ELVESYS] develops also with the Defense ministry a technology enabling a lab-on-chip to detect a virus or a bacteria in 10 minutes.”
Press article in Silex ID about fastgen , dec. 2014, here: “[The Fastgene project] consists in a miniaturized chip able to “scan” the human organism in less than 10 minutes, from a single drop of blood or saliva. This microfluidic technology, which is adaptable to any lab-on-chip and enables to detect rapidly bacteria or even circulating tumor cells, turns out to be an extremely powerful prevention tool, notably in the case of bacteriological attack. The French army is moreover an ELVESYS’ purchaser”
NEED MORE INFORMATION ?
Drop me a line
You have a research project in mind and you are looking for an industrial partner in microfluidics ?
I will study your proposition and come back to you quickly to find together the best way to collaborate on your project. If the submission deadline is coming soon, I will try to come back to you on the same day.
Since all of us initially came from public research lab, we are used to collaborate with research laboratories inside scientific consortium and new scientific projects are always welcomed.
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