Area 3 – Funded non-K:


Figure 1: Proposed DNA-nanopore structure functionalized tethered membrane architecture. The lock-strand (blue) blocks current through the nanopore until it is opened by a complimentary key-strand (green), generating an electrical signal as membrane resistance is reduced by the open nanopores.
Ultra-robust Lipid Membrane-based Nanopore Sensors

Project LEAD: AIT (Dr. Jakob Andersson)

Project Partner: CEST (Philipp Fruhmann)

Project abstract:

The project aims at developing a novel concept for the rapid detection of antibiotic resistance. Therefore, we will establish a method of detecting selected antibiotic resistance genes based on DNA nanopores embedded in a model membrane architecture.

Infections with drug-resistant bacteria are a significant threat to global health systems, in part resulting from overuse of antibiotics, particularly broad-spectrum antibiotics. One of the first clinical decisions that must be made when a patient presents with a bacterial infection concerns the choice of antimicrobial treatment. It is critical that the correct decision is made because otherwise the patient is exposed to the side effects of antibiotic treatments while the infection continues to progress. This may result in patients requiring intensive care at hospitals and further antibiotic therapy, causing both unnecessary hardship for the patient and costs for public health systems.

A electrochemical low-cost and robust point of care device designed to rapidly detect the presence of antibiotic resistance genes would aid clinical decisions to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. Such systems have been shown to be selective, sensitive and relatively cheap and have therefore been predicted since the early 2000s to become available, no such device currently exists.

This work will serve as a foundation to develop a microfluidic point-of-care device containing a multiplexed array of nanopores capable of rapidly detecting antibiotic resistance genes in a clinical setting. CEST as partner is mainly working on protective layers for the surface, the necessary chemistry to implement the biological part and the system evaluation.

General info:

Program: Life Science Call 2019 (Lower Austria)


Funding agency:  NFB – NÖ Forschungs- und Bildungsges.m.b.H. (NFB)

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Project duration: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2023

Project lead by:
AIT (Dr. Jakob Andersson)


Topic manager: Philipp Fruhmann