Universal Sensors offers sensors to fight HCAIs


The Vantix biosensor technology could be used to rapidly detect super bugs in the field

Universal Sensors has demonstrated that the Vantix biosensor technology could be used to detect several ‘super bugs’ in the fight against hospital acquired infections and it plans to adapt the technology for future use in hospitals.

The company is focused on developing product systems that move tests out of the laboratory and to the point-of-care or point-of-use.

Vantix technology enhances existing ELISA based tests to make them more sensitive and faster, providing a simple digital result, which can be interpreted by a person with minimal training and enables laboratory-based tests to be used in the field.

The Saffron Walden, UK company recently conducted focus groups with end-users to gain their perspectives of what was needed to fight healthcare acquired infections.

“Although price is an issue for procurement departments, it is only one side of the equation,” said Dr Kevin Auton, commercial director of Universal Sensors. “The feedback from infection control teams was that the total cost of delivery of service was important. What the end-user wanted was a device that could be easily used by non-nursing staff and that would provide fast indication of contamination, thus assisting with the control of any source of contamination before it spread and the provision of a substantial cost-saving.

“This feedback has been incorporated into the design of our prototype device, which will be tested by some of the champions that we have identified in the focus groups.”

The technology is attracting interest from companies across the human and animal healthcare environments as it creates a new route to market for proven diagnostic testing of a range of contaminants, toxins and disease markers.

Existing ELISA assays can easily be migrated on to the Vantix platform, offering the potential to make a laboratory-based test available on a portable device.

The Vantix technology has already been applied in a number of fields, including drug testing. The product range includes: a laboratory research instrument (Vantix Research) for the development of new methods, a desk-top point-of-care system in development for use in hospitals and in the community (Vantix point-of-care) and a future mobile system for point-of-use (Vantix Mobile).