Research & Development

The Research and Development Unit offers complete and innovative solutions in the field of parallel bioanalysis by applying spot based analytical technologies utilizing the company know-how in the fields of microarrays, assays development, pico- and nanoliter handling, surface functionalization, array imaging and data analysis.

SCIENION is committed to R&D with the aim of working with our customers to develop innovative products.

Partnerships play an important role in our activities and we value establishing and maintaining strong relationships with our contacts within the scientific, academic and business communities. We are engaged in several joint research projects at national and international levels, some of them publicly funded.

These cooperative projects aim to develop the next generation of technologies, applications and highly qualified products to enable better prevention, diagnosis and therapies for disease indications.

We provide leadership and opportunities in technologies and innovations as well as in accessing, managing, implementing and monitoring projects.

Below are listed some of the completed projects in which we were involved.

  • micro Aqua - Water Quality Analysis

    microAQUA: Universal microarrays for the evaluation of fresh-water quality based on detection of pathogens and their toxins

    Objective:

    Monitoring the quality of drinking water is of paramount importance for public health. “Water is not a commercial product but a heritage that must be protected, defended and treated as such” (Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC). The threat of waterborne diseases in Europe will predictably increase in the future as the human population increases and as a result of globalization and migration from non-EU countries and of climate change. Development of efficient, sensitive, robust, rapid and inexpensive tests to monitor various aspects of water quality represents an essential milestone within the strategy for control and prevention of diseases caused by waterborne pathogens and by algal toxins. Traditional methods for the detection of waterborne pathogens, based on cultivation, biochemical characterisation and microscopic detection are laborious and time-consuming; molecular biological tools have now greatly enhanced our ability to investigate biodiversity by identifying species and to estimate gene flow and distribution of species in time and space. MicroAQUA aims to design and develop a universal microarray chip for the high-throughput detection in water of known and emerging pathogens (bacteria, viruses, protozoa and cyanobacteria) and to assess the water quality monitoring the presence of select bioindicators (i.e. diatoms). A chip able to detect cyanobacterial toxins will also be developed. These innovative molecular tools should be amenable to automation so that they could be deployed on moorings for routine semi-continuous monitoring of water quality. MicroAQUA also aims to identify cyanophages potentially capable of controlling and mitigating the periodical blooming of toxic cyanobacteria in drinking water reservoirs. Overall, these innovative and cost efficient technologies will reduce energy requirements and improve performance of water treatment, and allow rapid management response to new situations brought about by environmental (including climatic) changes.

    All about the project and partners here.

    Duration: 1/3/2011-30/11/2014

    Program type: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

    Involved Partners:

    • Università degli Studi di Camerino
    • University College Dublin
    • Istituto Superiore di Sanità
    • Queen's University Belfast
    • Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris 6
    • Veolia Environnement Recherche & Innovation SNC
    • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
    • National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
    • SCIENION AG
    • MariLim Gesellschaft für Gewässeruntersuchung mbH
    • Istanbul University
    • University of Portsmouth
  • IMRA: Tumor Analysis using miRNA

    IMRA: Tumorassoziierte µRNA-Analytik
    KMU-innovativ 8: Tumorassoziierte µRNA-Analytik

    Objective:

    Using the example of breast cancer the functionality (prototype) of an integrated system for isothermal, multiparametric RNA analysis for clinicical diagnosis will be demonstrated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNA molecules (19-24 nucleotides long), which regulate gene expression by binding at complementary messenger RNAs (mRNAs), thereby inhibiting the translation or initiating the degradation of mRNAs. A third of the genes encoding proteins are regulated by miRNAs, therefore miRNAs are playing a central role in the control of many biological processes such as development, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis. In 2002 a correlation of miRNAs with cancer was described in chronic lymphocytic leukemia for the first time. Meanwhile, in many human tumors (CLL, lung, breast, pancreatic, thyroid and liver cancer) tumor-specific miRNA signatures associated with clinical-pathological and diagnostic important parameters were found. Due to the proven and growing clinical relevance the clinical diagnosis and primarily prediction are sustainable supported. Technically, the system combines two innovative on-chip components that enable a platform appropriate for any form of multi-parametric RNA analysis. For manufacturers of bioanalytical and diagnostic systems on a molecular basis, the heart of the project approaches the commercial potential as seen more and more important in the near future. Compared to traditional analytical methods the array-based approach for multi-parameter detection is more efficient with respect to time, sample consumption and costs per data point. The development of a cost-effective method for tumor analysis, based on the novel diagnostic method using miRNA has therefore a big new market potential in clinical diagnostics.

    Duration: 1/7/2012-13/06/2015

    Program type: Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

    Involved Partners:

  • SurfChem: Quantitative Surface Chemical Analsysis

    SurfChem: Traceable Quantitative Surface Chemical Analsysis for Industrial Applications

    Objective:
    The objectives of the JRP are to provide measurement standards and methods with traceability wherever it is practicable to do so for quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial applications. This includes:

    The provision of new certified reference materials (CRMs) with known and stable surface chemistries as well as with defined thickness and lateral structure for instrument development and calibration as well as verification of industry-relevant surface chemical measurements.
    The provision of new fast non-destructive methods of quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial in-line quality control. In particular, this will include the development of advanced techniques for real time, in-situ measurement of catalyst structure and activity on a localised scale to underpin the development of more efficient, selective and cost-effective catalysts.
    The provision of metrological methods including development of new CRMs to improve the capability and traceability of technologies widely used in industry for surface analysis such as electron and fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray reflectrometry, electron probe microanalysis or ion mass spectrometry.

    The research activities listed under objectives 1.) and 3.) are primarily addressed in Work Package (WP) 1 and 2. These WPs deal with reference material and method development for industrial problems of inorganic and organic surface analysis. Analytical methods addressed are photoelectron and Auger electron spectroscopy, electron probe micro analysis, X-ray reflectrometry and secondary ion mass spectrometery. WP3 is dedicated to the development of traceable fast non-destructive methods of quantitative surface chemical analysis for industrial in-line quality control with a focus on contamination on food and high end products. Methods applied in the related tasks are optical methods as IR and Raman, atmospheric pressure secondary ion mass spectroscopy as DESI and wettability testing methods (WCA) as well. By WP4 new advanced optical and SPM based techniques used for real time, in-situ measurement of catalyst structure and activity on a localised scale are specifically addressed.

    Each work package is planned considering priority that meets documented industrial needs and that supports transfer into industry by cooperation with relevant companies as unfunded JRP-Partners and by standardization under ISO TC 201 ”Surface Chemical Analysis” and 202 “Microprobe Analysis”. Read more

    Duration: October 2011 – September 2014

    Program type: EURAMET

    Involved Partners:

    • BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing
    • EJPD Eidgenössisches Justiz- und Polizeidepartement
    • INRIM Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica
    • NPL National Physical Laboratory
    • PTB Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
    • SP Swedish National Testing and Research Institute
    • Chalmers University of Technology
    • ION-TOF GmbH
    • Kratos Analytical Ltd
    • SCIENION AG
    • SPECS Surface Nano Analysis GmbH
    • Focus GmbH
  • CardioSAVE - Prognostic test for Acute Myocardial Infarction

    CardioSAVE

    Prognostic test for Acute Myocardial Infarction

    Objective:
    This project aims to develop a novel early stage prognostic test for clinical outcome in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) patients receiving percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). This novel test will also be able to monitor treatment response. The tool will be based on (i) a unique set of biomarkers recently discovered by the cardiovascular research group at the Luxembourg Hospital center and for which Firalis controls the intellectual property and (ii) a novel set of markers to be selected using transcriptomic and protein discovery approaches (iii) Biomarkers candidates from another ongoing study (Fibrotargets) focused on cardiac infarct, included to increase the performance of the test. Firalis will collaborate with the SME Scienion (Germany) to translate these novel biomarkers into an actual in vitro diagnostic medical device. For the development and clinical validation of the device, these SMEs will collaborate with university hospitals: the Bad Krozingen Heart Center (Germany) and the leading research institute for genetic and molecular cell biology (IGBMC).


    Website: www.cardio-save.com

    Duration: Started in 2014.

    Involved Partners:

  • Lab2Go - Point-of-Care for Measuring Cardiac Troponin-I

    Lab2Go - Point-of-Care for Measuring Cardiac Troponin-I

    Objective:

    The Lab2Go project, co-funded by the European Commission, is a study to determine the value of a point-of-care testing system for measuring cardiac Troponin-I (cTnI) at the patients’ bedside as an aid in the diagnosis of patients with the indications of a Myocardial Infarction (MI). A blood sample can be taken and tested by the doctor, nurse or paramedic to provide cTnI measurement during clinical assessment, rather than having to wait for laboratory results.

    All about the partners and the project at : www.lab2go.nl

    Duration: 01/2014- 06/2016

    Program type: Lab2Go is part of the European ICT Policy Support Programme

    Involved Partners:

    • Royal Philips
    • SCIENION AG
    • Microsystems (UK) Limited
    • Conworx Technology GmbH
    • Klinikum Nuernberg
    • Medizinische Universität, Innsbruck
    • Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris
    • Catharina Ziekenhuis
    • St. George’s Hospital, London
    • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Non-invasive blood test for the detection of Down syndrome

    Non-invasive blood test for the detection of Down syndrome

    Objective:
    Down syndrome or trisomy 21 is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21. The Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal abnormality and the most common reason for abortions. Current prenatal screening methods such as ultrasound imaging may indicate the presence of Down syndrome, e.g. by measuring the nuchal fold thickness. However, usually an invasive diagnostic procedure (amniocentesis) is required to distinctly confirm the diagnosis. As amniocentesis bears risks for mother and child, a reliable blood test is needed to clarify the presence of trisomy 21.

    The present R&D project aims at the development of a miniaturized multi-marker assay to determine fetal trisomy 21 specific protein signatures in maternal blood. Assay development involves new biomarkers identified and evaluated in preliminary studies. This novel blood test is faster and more cost-efficient than competing methods.

    SCIENION will develop the printing and immobilization protocols for the antibody probes for the production of the arrays in microtiter plates (sciPLEXPLATES). For detection and data analysis the sciREADER CL2 is used. After the successful development, SCIENION will manufacture the test kit for the global market.


    Duration: 09/2017 – 11/2018

    Program type:
    Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM)

    Involved Partners: