Dag Winkler
​Dag Winkler ​​​​
​Photo: Peter Widing 

Fast, sensitive and reliable test of viral infections on this year's IVA-list

A super-fast influenza test that provides reliable results within an hour. The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) is now turning the spotlight on a portable small device that is predicted to become an important tool in the fight against pandemics. The technology is developed through a research collaboration between Chalmers, Uppsala University, RISE, KI and SciLifeLab and is coordinated by Dag Winkler at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers.  ​
Today, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineers presented their 2021 100-list of research projects from Swedish universities that have the potential to change the world. With the aim of building bridges between the business community and academia, and thus translating research into actual use, just under a hundred projects have been nominated and selected on this year's theme: emergency preparedness. 

One of the projects making it to the list this year is FLU-ID​, a research project fina that has developed a portable small device that enables fast and super sensitive diagnostics of infectious diseases. A near-patient diagnostic tool that provides reliable test results within an hour, enabling on-site analysis instead of via centralized laboratories. 

The technology is based on a research collaboration between Chalmers, Uppsala University, RISE, KI and SciLifeLab and is coordinated by Dag Winkler at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers. 
"The goal is to be able to diagnose influenza and other viral infections quickly, easily and at low cost, in health centres or, for example, airports and workplaces. You’ll get the test results just in an hour or so, rather than after several days, which often is the case today. This is of great importance in preventing the spread of diseases. And treatment can also be initiated more quickly, which in some infections can be a matter of life or death", says Dag Winkler.

The need for fast, simple and safe diagnosis of infectious diseases has become increasingly urgent during the Corona pandemic. And although the project primarily focuses on flu diagnostics, the method can also be used to detect other diseases, such as malaria, SARS or Covid-19. The technique is based on magnetic analysis of samples from nasal mucosa, blood or urine and enables testing of several different diseases at the same time. 

The research project has been ongoing for six years during which the sensitivity of the technology has been improved to the extent that patents are now being sought and conditions for commercialization of the product are being investigated. As part of the initiative, the spin-off company Videm has been formed by students Maria Barklund and Petter Barreng from Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship. 

"Together with our business developers, we are now looking for potential partners and investors for further product development and validation, with the goal of streamlining the flow of care and preventing the spread of infection," says Dag Winkler.

Page manager Published: Mon 17 May 2021.