A cutting-edge project that could save millions of lives around the world has secured vital funding.
Led by the University of Edinburgh, ARREST TB (Accurate, Rapid, Robust and Economical diagnoStic Technologies for Tuberculosis) is a pioneering new approach to combat one of the deadliest diseases on earth – tuberculosis.
A team of European academics including Heriot-Watt University are working towards developing a suite of affordable technology capable of diagnosing the disease.
They have received €4.5M from the EU Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020, the Indian Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and the Russian Ministry of Science and Higher Education allowing them to progress onto its next phase.
Funding will include the preparation of innovative biological and technological approaches for the rapid and accurate diagnosis for TB within primary healthcare settings and response to treatment.
Professor Marc Desmulliez from the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is to develop microfluidic methods to extract DNA from sputum and blood in order to detect TB. He is also in charge of making sure that the systems developed can wirelessly and safely transfer the results to a centralised database for further information processing.
He said: “ARREST TB offers a unique opportunity for microbiologists, chemists and engineers, who will have the opportunity to rapidly test their technologies in collaboration with colleagues in India and Russia. We are excited to be able to contribute to this sensor platform in order to provide a low cost solution such a deadline and prevalent disease”.
ARREST TB is working closely with, and conducting clinical evaluation/validation studies in high TB burden countries including Russia and India.
In 2019, Heriot-Watt is celebrating its Year of Health, a calendar of engagement that spans schools, communities, businesses and government. Throughout the year, the campaign will highlight the university's research and the ground-breaking discoveries that are helping drive innovations in healthcare, diagnosis and treatment.
Further information on the project can be found here.