Sensors for early detection of biological weapons are essential to react timely on such attacks. According to this fact the goal of the present project is the evaluation of the basic principles and possibilities for a fast and specific determination of biological warfare agents. The major goal is targeting the application of highly specific and sensitive detection systems on the basis of fluorescence events in microfluidic real-time PCR systems.
The miniaturization of the real-time PCR technology marks the first step for the mobile use. The intensive research in this area is caused by the advantages of fully automatic execution, closed systems, robust design together with low cost, space and energy demand. The restrictions of classical laboratory equipment could be resolved with this technology and open the possibility of the development of mobile systems.
A major part of every system for the detection of nucleic acid fragments and with that for the molecular identification of infectious materials, which is actually just incomplete tackled, are highly selective detection systems with low detection limits together with high detection reliability. Detection systems based on fluorescence events are well suited to those requirements. Miniaturized versions for the integration into micro fluidic systems together with the possibility of immobilisation of the fluorescence probes can be realized in several integration steps.
An extended system specification by possible applicants (military and civil forces, water supplier) is carried out at the beginning of the project. Different possibilities for the realization of such detector systems and the general feasibility in micro fluidic systems are evaluated within the scope of this project. Concepts for an integrated approach including fluorescence excitation- and detection optics for DNA analysis as well as electronic interrogation hardware and algorithms are considered in more detail. Based on the above mentioned specifications, production technologies for suitable microfluidic systems are evaluated.
Univ. prof. Dr. Volker Ribitsch