BIO-DIRECT – Biomarkers & Bioassays for future research and diagnostics at NVI

BIO-DIRECT wish to develop knowledge and tools to provide animal diagnostics with the possibility to modernize analysis quicker, and be ready to follow when human diagnostics moves into a time of “organ-on-a-chip”-technology and implanted biomarkers sensors.

Methods that can gather information about diseases in inner organs at an early time point without sacrificing individuals in a population are lacking for several species. Blood samples, mucosal samples and feces samples can in many cases provide information about disease through their molecular profiles, via biomarkers that are released from infected or diseased organs The use of biomarkers requires strong basic understanding of the normal health status and responses to disease in different animal species. This rely on tests and trials, and to reduce the need for research animals there is a need for good alternative biological models.

Organ-mimicking models built from cells can be used to reveal harmful effects of infectious organisms and environmental factors, and support the investigations on biomarkers. There is also a need to develop models and methods to describe functions of the immune defense system, to better predict vaccine effects or immune suppression.

Diagnostic analyses based on biomarkers requires new methods for measuring many markers simultaneously rapidly and sensitively in the same sample, so-called multiplexing. BIO-DIRECT will buils a technological platform of methods to identify new biomarkers, develop cellular bioassays, measure immune protection, and establish multiplex analysis based on magnetic beads coated with nanobodies (antibody fragments from camelides).

Work Packages:

  • WP1: Disease biomarker discovery
  • WP2: Immune protection assays
  • WP3: Gene Editing
  • WP4: Cellular bioassays
  • WP5: MulTiplexed assays