Successes of SensUs teams after the SensUs Competition. 

In the annual SensUs competition, teams of students strive to make the best possible biosensors and win the SensUs awards. But how are the teams, and their prototypes, doing after the competition? We spoke with six alumni teams who told us about their activities and recognition after the competition.

The international SensUs competition challenges multi-disciplinary teams of students to develop innovative biosensors for real-live applications. The teams consist of students with varying age, education and experience. This results in a wide range of creative ideas that are implemented in their prototypes. The SensUs competition is the start of an innovative journey.



The theme of SensUs 2016 was kidney failure and the teams developed biosensors to detect Creatinine in blood, a biomarker of chronic kidney disease (CKD). KreaSensa, the team form KU Leuven, was the winner of the first edition of SensUs. They won the Analytical Performance award, the Translation Potential award and the Public Inspiration award. KU Leuven filed a patent application on the technology that was part of the KreaSensa prototype. After the competition Francesco Dal Dosso, who was the coach of KreaSensa 2016, and Elena Perez Ruiz enrolled in a training course at the KU Leuven on knowledge and technology transfer and the exploitation of research. In the course they developed a business case based on their SensUs results, and they were the winner in this training course!

KeaSensa wrote a scientific paper on their biosensor, that was published in Analytica Chimica Acta in 2018. Their biosensor has not gone unnoticed; KreaSensa was invited to present their biosensor at three recognized events.

The first event was the annual event of the Dutch Kidney Foundation and the Association for Kidney Patients on the 13th of January 2017 in Hilversum. The second event was at the MicroTas conference in Savannah, USA, where Kreasensa gave a presentation entitled “Self-powered SIMPLE chip for CKD diagnosis and monitoring using the POC Creasensor”. They presented the CreaSensor, a true point-of-care (POC) biosensor for the detection of creatinine in blood plasma. CreaSensor combines SIMPLE technology, a powerful microfluidics tool that requires no external power for activation or liquid manipulation, with a colorimetric read-out and an enzymatic bio-assay.

The third event was a workshop for GPs in Utrecht, The Netherlands, where KreaSensa gave a presentation entitled “SIMPLE, microfluidic devices for POC applications”, by Jolien Breukers and Francesco Dal Dosso.

Francesco kept working on the technology during his PhD after the competition. Currently, the Biosensors group in KU Leuven, led by Prof. Jeroen Lammertyn, is further developing the microfluidic technology. The research group received funding to continue working on the microfluidic platform for many applications. The group is looking into different valorization strategies and has published papers in several journals (of SpringerLinkScienceDirect and the American Chemical Society).

‘The Biosensors group at KU Leuven is currently exploring all the potential of the SIMPLE technology both in diagnostics and therapeutics applications.’


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