Wideblue, a Scottish-based medical device development specialist, is working alongside customer Anasyst and the Teesside University to develop a low-cost optical cavity absorption system which could potentially speed up the diagnosis of sepsis by a significant factor.
This device, which has been used as part of a clinical evaluation at an NHS hospital laboratory, passes light back and forth, within a sample, between two high reflectivity mirrors to increase the pathlength and sensitivity. Using this method to analyse blood samples, means light is passed through the system multiple times, and any subtle changes in biomarker colour can be linked to diagnosing sepsis. The whole process can be done in around 30 minutes. For further information see the IDTechEx report on Biomedical Diagnostics at Point-of-Care 2019-2029: Technologies, Applications, Forecasts.
Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by a systemic reaction to an infection - usually bacterial but also viral or fungal. Cytokines released into the blood, in response to infection, can induce widespread inflammation which leads to abnormal cardiovascular response and damage to the body's organs. In the worst cases the patient can develop septic shock with multi-organ failure. Sepsis remains the primary cause of death from infection with around six million deaths annually and with the majority of these preventable. Sepsis is a growing problem for a number of reasons including: ageing populations; more patients living with chronic disease; and the evolution of more drug-resistant pathogens.
The ground-breaking device developed by Wideblue was used as part of a clinical evaluation at an NHS hospital laboratory in Teesside. The prototype reader device proved to be low-cost, reliable with a high level of sensitivity compared with similar reader devices. The partners are now looking for additional funding to start full clinical trials.
Wideblue was responsible for:
- The mechanical design of the cartridge and reader
- Electronics design of the sensing head and light sources
- Firmware control for consumable indexing system
- Manufacture of single prototype for clinical evaluation purposes
- Optical design and simulation
Russell Overend, Wideblue's CEO, said: "This has the potential to be a huge breakthrough in the rapid diagnosis and early treatment of sepsis. Currently the diagnosis of sepsis is really quite slow, and for every hour that the illness is left undetected increases the mortality rate by 6-10%. This new Point of Care device, could be used in hospitals or GP surgeries and will give results in around 30 minutes. We are currently still in the feasibility stage, and our partners are looking for more funding to start full clinical trials."
For further information about Wideblue please visit www.wide-blue.com
Wideblue became part of Pivot International (www.pivotint.com) in April 2018 after being acquired by the Kansas-based company for an undisclosed sum. Based in Glasgow, Wideblue has a 20-year track record of helping clients take innovative and novel product ideas from the drawing board to prototyping and on to full scale manufacture and commercialisation. The company was established in 2006 as a management buyout from the Polaroid Corporation's European research and development division working on the company flagship instant camera range and related products. Since then the company has been delivering hundreds of projects for a variety of organisations from start-ups and university spin-outs to multinational corporations. The company is frequently engaged in collaborative projects working with some of Europe's leading research organisations and universities, especially in the areas of imaging, optoelectronics and bio-medical engineering. The skill set in-house ranges from physics, optics, electronics and software through to mechanical engineering, prototyping, medical devices, manufacture and supply chain management.
Wideblue now has a multi-disciplinary workforce of 20 engineers many of whom have multiple degrees in electronics, physics, product design, engineering and production. The company has won numerous awards for product design including a European Design Award in 2017 for the development of a mobile phone ophthalmoscope for client Peek Vision. It has also won accolades for its work on the I-1 instant digital camera for The Impossible Project.
Livingston-based A2E became part of the Group Pivot International in August 2019. Together with Wideblue the two companies form Scotland's largest independent product design group.
For further information about Wideblue please visit www.wide-blue.com For further information about Pivot International please visit www.pivotint.com
Source: Integris Communication