Project Image:
Title of the project:
Sensitive, DEP-based detection of viral antigens and cellular surface patterns
Project leader:
Dr. Martin Stelzle
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • VDI/VDE Innovation+Technik GmbH
Funding reference number:

VirCellChip aims at the development of a system for fast, yet highly sensitive detection of viral antigens and cellular surface patterns based upon a micro-bead based assay and dielectrophoretic accumulation in a microfluidic cartridge.


Background: the VirCellChip system aims at the development of a platform for detection of cellular surface patterns in blood, bone marrow as well as viral antigens such as hepatitis B oder C (HBV, HCV) or HIV. The latter are currently addressed using PCR-based diagnostic tools for testing patient blood. The novel system could be used i) as an alternative to FACS for diagnostics and treatment monitoring of leukemia and immune deficiency syndrom and ii) as an alternative for PCR for the detection of viral pathogens in blood.
State of the art: PCR based detection of viral pathogens today is linked to highly specialized laboratories and requires sophisticated equipment. A cartridge based system in contrast could be used in a point of care setting.
The project combines microsystem technology and application know how in diagnostics in order to develop a diagnostic system that will be useful in a point of care setting. It has the potential to extend open up a new are of applications for microfabrication.
The expertise of the partners involved covers the complete value added chain starting from scientific research on viral antigens and cell sorting (Univ. Tübingen, children's hospital) and development of diagnostic assays (Mediagnost GmbH) through micro- and nanotechnologies for life science applications (NMI), fabrication technologies (Microfluidic ChipShop, IMT AG), system development (Multi Channel Systems GmbH), to commercial exploitation (Mediagnost GmbH).

Project partners:
  • IMT AG, Greifensee, Schweiz
  • Mediagnost Gesellschaft für Forschung und Herstellung von Diagnostika GmbH, Reutlingen
  • Microfluidic ChipShop GmbH, Jena (MFCS)
  • Multi Channel Systems MCS GmbH, Reutlingen
  • Univ. Tübingen, Kinderklinik (im Unterauftrag bei Mediagnost GmbH)