at the interface of nanotechnology and life sciences

BVD-Sens, rapid diagnosis of BVD-virus in milk using photonic sensors

Project description

Bovine Virus Diarrhea (BVD) is a worldwide infection of frequent occurrence among cattle and leads to damage on livestock farms. The virus can be introduced in livestock farms in many ways so it is important that this damage can be prevented by eliminating the virus that causes BVD, namely BVDV. This disease has significant economic impacts due to its direct effects on reproductive performance, milk production and animal growth. Currently available detection methods are expensive and very time- and labor-intensive. It typically takes several hours to a number of days before reliable results can be obtained. A faster analysis of the milk can contribute to a better control of the spread of the virus.

In this project, we are working in collaboration with several partners for the realization of a table-top/portable demonstrator for rapid and accurate detection of BVD-virus in milk, based on a multichannel photonic sensor prototype. Various innovative technologies, including lab-on-a-chip, microfluidics, inkjet-printing/spotting and integrated photonic sensors will be integrated into this demonstrator to achieve the defined goals. The portable detector will be a first step towards the realization of a handheld device, which will enable on-line/in-line rapid and reliable detection of BVD-virus in milk at the point-of-need settings such as dairy farms.

In this project you will contribute to the development of a portable demonstrator based on existing photonic biosensor prototypes. The developed demonstrator, consisting of a Lab-on-a-Chip system and a read-out detector, will be first tested with standard/spiked BVD-virus and viral-antigen samples. Next, it will be calibrated and validated with complex samples, e.g. milk, and finally benchmarked with gold standard methods, such as ELISA. Furthermore, it will be investigated how this portable demonstrator can be applied for rapid BVD-virus detection at point-of-need settings such as dairy farms.

Educational program
- Biology and Laboratory Research / Biologie en Medisch Laboratoriumonderzoek (BML)
- Chemistry / Chemie (C)
- Mechatronics / Mechatronica (MT)
- Applied Computer Science / Technische Informatica (TI)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering / Elektrotechniek (ET)

Interested, please send your motivation letter and CV before the 4th of July 2022 to
Aurel Ymeti