Autophagic Flux Biosensor
With the aging of populations worldwide, neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s occurs more frequently, and there is therefore a need to develop technologies to address this tragic health problem.
Autophagy is a protein degradative pathway, that is dysfunctional in human neurodegeneration such as in Alzheimer’s disease, but there is currently no means to quantitatively assess this critical system, and hence candidate drugs that are thought to modulate autophagy cannot be accurately screened.
The Autophagic Flux Biosensor technology allows the quantification of the autophagic flux in a rapid and effective manner, and will consist of a unique nano-biosensor with a software readout component that delivers autophagic flux numerically, comparable to a routinely-used blood glucose or cholesterol test.
The distinctive feature of the Biosensor is the highly sensitive detection unit that is coupled to a unique computational interface that enables the calculation of autophagic activity based on the relative abundance of key autophagic flux response proteins. The biosensor is versatile, highly cost-effective, the interface user friendly and easy to use.
The project intends to leverage the benefits to the health care and biomedical industry, to accelerate diagnosis and drug development in Alzheimer’s disease but also cancer and aging. The potential sectors are the key beneficiaries and that are likely to pay for the problem solution are the health sector (clinicians, biomedical applications, pathology services) as well as the pharmaceutical industry (drug development platforms). The desire to have the problem solved is substantial. In 2009, the global societal cost/socio-economic disease burden for neurodegenerative disase was estimated at $422 billion and the patient number is estimated to rise to 107 million by 2050. Hence, the groups of people and associated industries that are likely to need this technology are substantial.
• a unique nano-biosensor with a software readout component
• autophagic flux numerically, comparable to a routinely-used
blood glucose or cholesterol test
This technology is patented.
Prof Ben Loos, Department of Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University.
Prof Jan Hendrik S Hofmeyr, Department of Biochemistry and Center for Complex Systems in Transition, Stellenbosch University.
Prof Willem J. Perold, Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University.
Andre du Toit, Department of Biochemistry and Physiological Sciences, Stellenbosch University.
Christiaan Viviers, Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, Stellenbosch University.
Investment partner for our spin-out company Phagoflux.
Investment into our spin-out company Phagoflux.
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