A lab-on-chip for detection of viruses and bacteria in only 7 minutes at your doctor’s office
Ebola virus infecting cells
Detection of Ebola in 8 minutes? Anthrax in 6 minutes? It is respectively 7 and 14 times faster than best existing technologies. The aim of FASTGENE project is to use strength of microfluidic PCRq system to provide the world fastest pathogenic detection system.
The 2014 Ebola outbreaks demonstrated that current diagnostic tools are not adapted to contain effectively widespread epidemics.
Indeed current devices are basically:
- Either fast (few minutes) but are not sensitive enough for early diagnosis and are not specific which means that can detect the presence of any bacteria or virus but not necessarily the dangerous ones causing the epidemic.
- Either specific and sensible but analysis can last several hours even days if specific diagnostic systems are not nearby. These systems use molecular detections i.e. the detection of pathogenic DNA or RNA.
Based on this statement, Elvesys developed the fastest specific diagnostic systems conserving the high sensitivity of the best current commercial devices, the Fastgene system. Thus, the molecular detection of any bacteria or virus is possible in less than 10 minutes.
Using its expertise in microfluidics, this integrated on-chip system could be furthermore used for point-of-care testing.
A microfluidic PCRq system for fast diagnostic
This Fastgene diagnostic system is based on the quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), a molecular diagnosis enabling to detect the specific genetic sequences of viruses and bacteria.
The Fastgene technology uses a patented microfluidic thermalisation technique using both the relevant advantages of microfluidic chips and Elveflow high performance pressure controllers.
Using polymeric and integrated consumables, the Fastgene technology remains cheap and accessible while enabling the hightest diagnostic performances in term of speed, specificity and sensitivity.
In collaboration with the french Directorate General of Armaments (D.G.A.), the Fastgene system has been tested on Anthrax and Ebola simulating agent and was able to detect this pathogen agents in 7 minutes which is 7 to 14 times faster than current systems. Importantly, the Fastgene system shows a considerable gain of speed while conserving the detection efficiency and sensitivity of commercial systems.
The Fastgene system uses the most sensitive and confident diagnostic method: the quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR), which is here carried out at an unmatched speed.
Molecular detection of the Fastgene compared to a commercial state-of-the-art system: the Fastgene system enables a detection 6 times faster.
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).
Current Fastgene prototype. The microfluidic chip enabling the ultra-fast diagnostic and used as the sample consumable is in the foregroud.
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”
Other microfluidic projects of ELVESYS SAS
1. D. Lee, P.-J. Chen and G.-B. Lee, Biosens. Bioelectron., 2010, 25, 1820–1824.
2. 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.