Danish technology to significantly reduce diagnosis time - The Post

Danish technology to significantly reduce diagnosis time

Nano- and microsensors could be the key to faster and more accurate diagnosis in bacteria-related infections in the future.

Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi winning the PhD of the year award (photo: DTU)
October 15th, 2019 5:24 pm| by Thess Mostoles

Fatima AlZahra’a Alatraktchi, the founder of the medical firm PreDiagnose, has made a splash in the scientific community for her research into diagnostics.

Her work involves new sensors for the detection of cellular molecules and microorganisms in what could be the next generation of technology for early diagnostics for bacterial illnesses.

“My work is to develop sensors to measure the disease early in the process to get a diagnosis on the spot and that way get the absolute correct treatment and medicine,” she told TV2 News. 

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Diagnosed from your couch
“I, myself, have the experience to be admitted with an infection that cannot be diagnosed quickly. I was in a hospital bed for a longer time than if I had been diagnosed with the treatment immediately,” said Alatraktchi.

She hopes her technology will not only reduce the time it takes to diagnose a patient, but also provide a tool to prescribe the exact treatment the infection demands.

“At best, you can save human lives, but it also means that we can reduce antibiotic consumption, which has increased tremendously in recent years,” she said.

Alatraktchi believes it will even be possible to get a diagnosis from one’s own home in the future. “For example, a man on the couch could do a little finger prick test, put it in a sensor, and have an answer in 60 seconds.”

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Hailed by Forbes
The research of early detection of infections has been on Alatraktchi’s mind for a long time.

She studied physics and nanotechnology at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and last year she got her PhD on the early detection of bacterial infections by nanotechnology. Her dissertation was chosen as DTU Bioengineering’s 2018 PhD thesis of the year.

Alatraktchi’s work prompted Forbes magazine to choose her as one of four Danes in its prestigious ’30 under 30 – Europe’ list within the realm of Science & Healthcare for developing a sensor that could detect pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterial infection for people with vulnerable immune systems.