Supporting the development of a new diagnostic that could guide antibiotic treatment
We have helped the UK based company Paragraf obtain over £500,000 from Innovate UK to develop their rapid test for distinguishing between viral and bacterial infections.
Graphene based sensors, consisting of thin layers of carbon, have the ability to detect different molecules rapidly and with high sensitivity. However, to our knowledge, there are no graphene-based diagnostics on the market.
Recently Paragraf, a Cambridgeshire-based company, has developed a method for manufacturing high quality graphene on a large scale. They are starting a two-year programme to develop a diagnostic test that will recognise different types of infections using their graphene-based technology. The test aims to measure two biological molecules, called Procalcitonin (PCT) and C-reactive protein (CRP), within minutes. This could help clinical staff with their decision-making and ensure patients receive the most appropriate treatment quicker.
The project involves collaboration with the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.
Our work will identify the ideal characteristics for the test in different healthcare settings by interviewing staff from primary, emergency and intensive care. We will also review the current clinical guidelines for using CRP and PCT to diagnose suspected infections. This will help Paragraf optimise the design of the device and develop a strategy for future evidence development.
Dr Will Jones, Senior Clinical Test Methodologist at the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Newcastle In Vitro Diagnostics Co-operative (MIC), who will oversee the interviews with stakeholders, said:
“This exciting project provides the opportunity for clinicians, patients and the public to shape the development of a novel diagnostic test technology.”
Simon Thomas, Paragraf CEO, said:
“Paragraf has the ambition and proven ability to become a deep-tech graphene pioneer across several industries and, with our disruptive pipeline in novel IVD products, we aim to make a major contribution to resolving some of the most intractable problems in healthcare globally, including antimicrobial resistance, the early detection of cancers, and cardiovascular diseases.
Paragraf is notable for its unique manufacturing process to reproducibly produce high purity, high-quality graphene directly on a substrate with minimal contamination. This proprietary process allows Paragraf to claim that it is the first company in the world to deliver a scalable approach to graphene-based electronic device manufacturing, with an unrivalled ability to harness one of the most conductive materials in the world.”
Read more about the project.