Students launch competition to develop biosensors that quickly measure flu in saliva
With the international SensUs competition, students from TU Eindhoven are preparing for the fight against a possible new pandemic.
Fourteen student teams from around the world will present their research on biosensors that quickly and easily measure the flu virus in saliva at the SensUs competition on 3 September. The competition will take place online this year due to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19.
The international contest is organised by students of TU Eindhoven, who use it to prepare for the fight against a possible new pandemic after COVID-19. According to many scientists, there is a high probability that a next pandemic will be caused by the influenza virus. Improving existing tests is essential to make monitoring and combating such a crisis easier.
This is the sixth time that the SensUs competition is taking place. The aim of the competition is to stimulate the development of fast and advanced testing methods. This year, the measurements are done in saliva, as saliva is easily and quickly accessible for test users.
According to Menno Prins, professor of molecular biosensors at TU/e and initiator of the competition, developing such a biosensor is not easy: "The sensors must be fast, sensitive and reliable, but also easy to use and cheap to make." His experience is that student teams come up with very creative ideas every year. "They think multidisciplinary and bring together elements that you need to achieve a successful prototype."
The event will take place from 30 August to 3 September. The week will be filled with different workshops, pitches and moments for networking. On Wednesday 1 September and Friday 3 September, the final testing and judging of the biosensors will take place online.
The teams are judged in categories such as creativity and market potential. There is also a public prize; interested parties may cast their votes via www.digital.sensus.org. The event will be fully livestreamed on this website.
PARTICIPANTS FROM FOUR CONTINENTS
The 14 participating student teams come from four different continents. By stimulating the cooperation of students, partners and experts from different fields of expertise, SensUs forms an international platform that offers room for growth and innovation in the health sector. Prins: "The ultimate goal of SensUs is to enter into dialogue with each other and to see how we can collectively accelerate biosensor innovation."
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