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    State funds the development of a rapid test for the coronavirus

    09.04.2020 11:31
    The Hahn-Schickard Institute for Microanalytical Systems in Freiburg and Spindiag GmbH, founded together with the Department of Microsystems Engineering – IMTEK, will receive 6 million euros in order to develop a PCR-based rapid test for the coronavirus on its diagnostics platform. It is the crowning achievement of a process that was started 20 years ago in basic research at the University of Freiburg. The so-called “nested PCR” test delivers results within about 35 minutes directly to the place it is needed most. Source: Spindiag

    The so-called “nested PCR” test delivers results within about 35 minutes directly to the place it is needed most. Source: Spindiag

    Spindiag develops and produces automated diagnostic systems with which patients can be tested for pathogens in hospitals, for example. Based on the existing platform, the rapid test on Covid-19 is to be developed and brought to application maturity in the coming weeks.

    The Hahn-Schickard-Institute for Microanalysis Systems in Freiburg and Spindiag will now receive 6 million euros in funding from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing Construction for this promising development. The Economic Committee of the State Parliament convened in a special online meeting due to the urgency of granting this funding, allegedly for the first time in its history.

    Employees at the Laboratory for MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg under the direction of Professor Dr. Roland Zengerle and Hahn-Schickard have been researching in the field of microfluidic diagnostics for 20 years. In 2016, six former doctoral students at the Laboratory for MEMS Applications, all of whom were senior executives at Hahn-Schickard, founded the medical technology start-up Spindiag. The team quickly grew to 31 employees.

    “This is a very big moment for us, in which many years of basic research at the University of Freiburg and applied research and development at Hahn-Schickard are paying off. The team from the University of Freiburg and Hahn-Schickard are now working together to go the last few yards on this long journey as quickly as possible,” said Roland Zengerle happily. Due to the many years of preliminary work, the technology is also protected by many joint patents held by the University of Freiburg and Hahn-Schickard. “Together with our researchers and developers, we are delighted that this technology has suddenly become so important and can now be used effectively.”

    The test is characterized by simple operation, fast and reliable results and is intended to enable fast and safe testing for corona infection in such places as doctors' offices, hospitals, senior living facilities, nursing homes and testing centers. For this purpose, a nasal or throat swab is inserted directly into the cartridge. No further work with the patient sample is necessary so that the risk of contamination and infection for the staff is minimized. In addition, the test result is available after only about 30 to 40 minutes.

    For more information:
    https://www.hahn-schickard.de/news-detail/6-millionen-landesfoerderung-fuer-corona-schnelltest/
    https://www.spindiag.de/

    Contact:
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Roland Zengerle
    Laboratory for MEMS Applications
    Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK)
    University of Freiburg
    Tel.: 0761/203-73200
    roland.zengerle@imtek.uni-freiburg.de



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