Aart van Amerongen
From 1976 to 1983 Dr Aart van Amerongen studied Medical Biology at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, with emphasis on Immunology, NeuroEndocrinology and Biochemistry. In 1988 he obtained his PhD degree on a bovine and human phospholipid and cholesterol transfer protein at the Centre of Biomembranes and Lipid Enzymology of the same university. Subsequently, he had a postdoc position at the Central Veterinary Institute, Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Lelystad, The Netherlands, on epitope mapping of antibodies by using synthetic peptides (PEPSCAN technology). In 1990 he was appointed as a senior scientist at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research to lead the expertise group "BioSensing & Diagnostics" (BSD).
About BioSensing & Diagnostics, Wageningen University & Research
The group BioSensing & Diagnostics (BSD), part of a not-for-profit contract research institute from Wageningen University & Research, develops Point-of-Care, microarray diagnostic assays. BSD has over 25 years of experience in (inter)national (EU-)projects, often in close collaboration with companies, both SMEs and multinationals, and is well experienced in performing bilateral, confidential projects. The group is also working on the quantification of these rapid and multi-analyte assays. A final goal is the application of such methods by laymen (GPs, first-line healthcare workers, patients, veterinarians, operating managers in factories, etc.).
Point-of-Care lateral flow microarray immunoassays
A rapid Point-of-Care lateral flow microarray immuno-assay platform has been developed that generally consists of 25 assay spots. A panel of different biomarkers (proteins, toxins, antibiotics, bacterial cells, DNA/RNA amplicons, etc.) can be detected within a few minutes. Spots are read by a new and innovative real-time video reader, developed together with the HAN University of Applied Sciences (Arnhem) and recently presented as a prototype by Scienion (Berlin, Germany). The reader yields real-time and, if needed, quantitative data. The standalone reader can be controlled wirelessly by a smartphone and can also be used to transfer data or results to receivers such as a GP, a (pre-)clinical laboratory or directly to a patient's smartphone.
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Point-of-Care enzyme activity (inhibition) assays
Generally, diagnostics assays are used to detect or quantify antigens (biomarkers) such as proteins, toxins, antibiotics, bacterial cells and DNA/RNA amplicons. However, in particular cases the activity of an antigen is of a higher diagnostic value than its presence or concentration. For enzymes, their activity (i.e. the conversion of a substrate into a product) can be assessed by setting up a diagnostic assay in which the product or its metabolite can be measured. Point-of-Care applications would enable the timely detection of enzyme activity, or its inhibition, at a relevant time and place. Surfix (Wageningen, The Netherlands) is working on a guided flow technology through nitrocellulose membranes. A flow pathway is defined by application of a patterned hydrophobic nanocoating. Through these pathways liquids can be directed to predefined locations. BSD is studying the application of this platform for detection purposes and, especially, for enzyme activity (inhibition) assays. Point-of-Care applications are possible and activities of a number of enzymes (or a cascade of enzymes) can be accommodated on one membrane. A real-time video reader is available for spot colour recording and for data processing and wireless transfer.
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BSD is offering the following skills and expertise:
• Development of diagnostic assays, especially rapid and/or multi-analyte formats such as lateral flow and microarray devices.
• Consultancy with respect to the analysis of industrial processing chain hazards and/or critical control points..
• In close consultation with the customer the choice of the right analytes/targets to meet the criteria and requirements, as set by the customer, to solve the safety or quality issue identified
• Implementation of newly developed diagnostic assays in the workplace and with customer's personnel.