The theme for the upcoming edition of SensUs is Rheumatoid Arthritis: Managing rheumatic disease by measuring with ease. This year, the students will work on a biosensor for the detection of the anti-inflammatory drug adalimumab, that is used for treating this autoimmune disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects around 1% of the world population every year. The disorder is characterized by inflammation of the synovium of small joints, like hands and feet, which leads to the destruction of cartilage and bone. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis experience constant pain and difficulty with everyday chores.
Adalimumab relieves the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Adalimumab is a biological drug and is the largest selling pharmaceutical drug worldwide. It binds to TNF-alpha, a pro-inflammatory protein. This represses the body defence system and inhibits inflammation. However, adalimumab is not an adequate treatment for every patient. Patients may not have benefits or may even lose treatment benefits over time. Another problem is that the treatment is very expensive. A biosensor for adalimumab would prevent needless suffering and unnecessary costs by measuring the concentration of adalimumab in the patients blood.