Professor Anja Boisen, head of center at the DNRF Center of Excellence IDUN, recently received one of the prestigious Proof of Concept (PoC) grants from the European Research Council. With this grant, Professor Boisen hopes to make a smartphone-sized device that can perform so-called therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) on a single droplet of blood, in a matter of minutes, without the need for specialized personnel, at a fraction of the cost currently associated with TDM.
The PoC grant was awarded to Boisen for her project “Therapeutic Drug Monitoring with Smartphone-integrated Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy” (THERA). THERA is a direct result of Boisen’s previous ERC advanced grant HERMES, which aimed to achieve sensitive high-throughput cantilever-like sensors that generate reliable and reproducible results. One of the project’s outcomes was the detection of nanopillar substrates for Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), which exhibit high and uniform enhancement of the Raman signal. Raman spectroscopy is a method commonly used in chemistry to provide a structural fingerprint by which molecules can be identified. This technique will form the basis of the small TDM platform.
“The ERC PoC grant has previously been a successful way of commercializing our discoveries from our ERC advanced grant and I am excited for this opportunity to bring our platform one step closer to the end-users,” said Boisen.
This will be the third ERC PoC for Anja Boisen and her group, who have had great success exploring the commercial and social potential of her previous HERMES project. The MedTech company “Blusense Diagnostics” was a direct result of her first PoC grant, and she hopes to bring this new project as far.
The Proof of Concept grant from the ERC includes €150,000 and was awarded to a total of 62 recipients in 2019.