Faster testing of new MND treatments

Posted 12 Mar 2024
There are exciting clinical trials underway across the globe to find new drugs to stop the progression of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) – a rare neurological disease with progressive loss of muscle function, for which there is sadly no cure.

Now thanks to your support, the researchers here at Flinders are developing exciting, easier and much faster ways to detect whether these new treatments are working for each patient during these clinical trials.

Dr Xuan Luo was recently awarded a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to develop a portable battery‐driven device called a ‘Portable Vortex Fluidic Device’ (or P-VFD) which will potentially provide faster feedback on treatment effectiveness by analysing patients’ biofluids, compared with current diagnostic tests which can take three days.

“Current testing methods can be time‐consuming and costly, especially when many tests are required. Even with a fully automated robotic liquid handler running 24/7, processing a hundred samples takes a minimum of four weeks,” Dr Luo explains.

This research builds on a major 2017 breakthrough supported by Flinders Foundation’s donors, and follow up work in 2019 and 2022, whereby Flinders University researcher Associate Professor Mary-Louise Rogers uncovered the world’s first biomarker for MND progression in urine, applying her finding in a clinical trial.

Project Title: Next-generation diagnostic device for fast, accurate and multiplexed immunoassays to advance motor neuron disease diagnostics

This project is one of 31 exciting new health and medical research projects to receive funding in Flinders Foundation’s annual health seed grant thanks to donations from generous individuals and funds raised by supporters and organisation.

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