Project 'Nanodem' to reduce the rejection in transplantation has kicked off

organ transplantationOne of the greatest risks in operations involving an organ transplant is rejection. To ensure that the immune system accept the new organ, immunosuppressive drugs must be administered in order to avoid crises of graft rejection through inhibition of the immune system's response. However, these drugs lower the whole organism  immune system and their excessive administering can have serious side effects. For this reason it is essential to determine the correct dosage of immunosuppressants for each transplant patient.

The project 'Nanodem', which involves numerous foreign institutions, high-tech industries and two CNR structures, IFAC (Institute of Applied Physics) and IREA, aims to create a device that can measure the concentration of immunosuppressive drugs in transplanted patient  blood automatically and with high frequency. The protocol in use today is based on drawing blood in defined time intervals, usually every hour, and sending the sample to central laboratories. The possibility to perform a more frequent detection, without drawing blood and using an instrumentation next to the bed of the patient, can provide an important aid to identification of the correct therapy.

The apparatus involves the use of an intravascular catheter for microdialysis able to extract continuously from the blood of the transplanted a sample on which the immunosuppressants of interest are measured on-line. Heart of the device is an advanced miniaturized biochip that, using the latest developments in the field of nanotechnology, will convert the change in the concentration of the substances to be analyzed in precise detectable optical signals that will allow to make a multiple determination of the different immunosuppressants.

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IREA personnel involved

Romeo Bernini

 

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