ProSwabs

Swab systems with optimal uptake efficiency and improved preservation of bacterial viability and better detectability of other pathogens for clinical and hygienic diagnostics

For the identification of potentially pathogenic germs and viruses from clinical specimens and for recording the hygiene status of surfaces in the clinic or food industry, the correct method of specimen collection and transport is a prerequisite for accurate laboratory diagnostics and the initiation of targeted antibiosis or disinfection. When possible, sample collection is performed by commercially available swabs. Their efficiency depends on: Type and arrangement of the material used for the swab tip, type of (pathogenic) agents and handling. The aim of the project is to develop innovative swab systems that, compared to conventional, universally absorb pathogen material in sufficient quantities and transfer it as completely as possible to the analytical system. This is crucial for the reliable detection and cultivation of fastidious bacteria and the nucleic acid detection of epidemiologically important viruses. These are thus not overlooked and no valuable time is wasted, to the benefit of patients. The approach of the project is based on microfibers as used in nonwoven wipes used for cleaning. Through pretreatment, the fibers are oriented in a wick-like manner in one direction. The uptake of a germ-laden sample takes place at high speed via the capillarity effect of the microfiber construct, which has a very large internal surface area, and the release of the sample material into the transport medium and for analysis/diagnostics is almost complete. The wetting behavior of the swab is controlled by proportions of hydrophobic and hydrophilic fibers. Precise analytics/diagnostics enable targeted medication, minimize the spread of pathogens and contribute to significant healthcare savings. The project offers innovative approaches for SMEs along the entire chain: production/composition of (super) microfibers, their functionalization and packaging into the finished swab system.

IGF Research Project 21549 N

Contact
Project Leader

Prof. Dr. med. Rudolf Lütticken

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+49 241 80-23306
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Project Leader | Equal Opportunities Commissioner

Dr. Elisabeth Heine

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+49 241 80-23348
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Vice Scientific Director | Member of the Scientific Board

Prof. Dr. Andreas Herrmann

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+49 241 80-23304
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Scientific Director | Member of the Scientific Board

Prof. Stefan Hecht, Ph.D.

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+49 241 80-23311
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