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ECL-based Infectious Pathogen (bio)Sensor

“Infectious diseases are a threat to mankind since their appearance in human history. Despite the advances in science and technologies, such threats are still recurrent, as recently shown by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 – 2021, which has revealed the urgent need for novel tools for pathogen detection that would be at the same time reliable, fast, cheap, portable and simple.

The goal of ECLIPSE is to address this need, with a new platform exploiting innovative ultrasensitive protocols for the detection of pathogens. ECLIPSE builds on the combination of interdisciplinary elements to facilitate the transfer to industry, i.e. (i) ElectroChemiLuminescence (ECL) as a very sensitive transduction mechanism for realizing simple, portable and cheap devices, (ii) bio-, nano-, and supramolecular-based signal amplification structures for increasing the sensitivity, and (iii) two recognition strategies to afford high affinity and selectivity, thus leading to high reliability: the Phage-Sandwich technology for the whole pathogen, and the Surface Cooperative Hybridization technology for microbial and viral nucleic acid.

We will demonstrate the feasibility and adaptability of the ECLIPSE platform with three test cases: a virus (SARS-CoV-2), a bacterium (Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and a protozoan parasite (Leishmania infantum). The platform is designed to be applied to many other infectious agents, making it a “”ready for the next pandemic” technology.

ECLIPSE is expected to become a game-changer in European countries, where it could be a cornerstone for fast testing and reliable tracking of infections, and in developing countries that will benefit from a cheap and simple approach to detect the many infectious diseases that affect millions of people every year. The project results will be validated and demonstrated at partners’ premisses.”