Sanquin contributes to an international student competition for technical innovations

Rapid test for rheumatic disease mediaction

Every year the Technical University Eindhoven organizes a competition in the field of technical innovations in the medical field, named SensUs. The theme of SenSus 2019 was “Managing rheumatic disease, with ease”. The assignment was to design a rapid biosensor test for adalimumab, one of the so-called biologics, a medicine that inhibits the overactive immune system in rheumatic patients.


The purpose of such a rapid test is to allow patients to easily and regularly monitor their disease. In this way tehy can take control of their own lives, based on the blood concentrations of the drug and without the need of  a hospital visit. Because Sanquin is a center of expertise in the field of biologics testing, the SensUs organization soon approached Sanquin for advice. Annick de Vries and Henk te Velthuis from Sanquin advised the SensUs team, led by the Eindhoven Professor Menno Prins in the run-up to the event.

The students of the SensUs competition prepared themselves with a visit to the Biologics symposium in the OBA in December 2018, which was co-organized by Sanquin, and they talked with the Sanquin Biologic team. On August 30 the competition was held. 14 university teams from  13 countries and 4 continents came to Eindhoven to demonstrate their biosensing systems. The students had invented technical solutions ranging from test set-ups out of simple materials to advanced electronics and apps. "The teams came up with very creative solutions, with sometimes particularly good results," said Te Velthuis.

And the winner is…
The winning team came from the organizing University of Eindhoven. They received the main prize: a start-up grant to further develop the test. Sometimes the innovations of this competition are actually put into practice. Whether this test will reach the market? "If it is up to the enthusiastic students, that will certainly happen," says te Velthuis." We’ll keep an eye on it”.