Project: SURFSCAN Point-of-Care scanning of surfaces for bacterial loads in relation to infection prevention and hygiene management

VH 01: Gezondheid: zorg en vitaliteit
van 1 september 2017 tot 31 augustus 2021
To optimize patient care, it is vital to prevent infections in healthcare facilities. In this respect, the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains threatens public healthcare. Current gold standard techniques are based on classical microbiological assays that are time consuming and need complex expensive lab environments. This limits their use for high throughput bacterial screening to perform optimal hygiene control. The infection prevention workers in hospitals and elderly nursing homes underline the urgency of a point-of-care tool that is able to detect bacterial loads on-site in a fast, precise and reliable manner while remaining with the available budgets.

The aim of this proposal titled SURFSCAN is to develop a novel point-of-care tool for bacterial load screening on various surfaces throughout the daily routine of professionals in healthcare facilities. Given the expertise of the consortium partners, the point-of-care tool will be based on a biomimetic sensor combining surface imprinted polymers (SIPs), that act as synthetic bacterial receptors, with a thermal read-out strategy for detection. The functionality and performance of this biomimetic sensor has been shown in lab conditions and published in peer reviewed journals. Within this proposal, key elements will be optimized to translate the proof of principle concept into a complete clinical prototype for on-site application.

These elements are essential for final implementation of the device as a screening and assessment tool for scanning bacterial loads on surfaces by hospital professionals. The research project offers a unique collaboration among different end-users (hospitals and SMEs), and knowledge institutions (Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Fontys University of Applied Sciences and Maastricht Science Programme, IDEE-Maastricht University), which guarantees transfer of fundamental knowledge to the market and end-user needs.


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