ESR1 small

Novel concepts in support of improving clinical management of RTIs: Distinguishing viral from bacterial pneumonia

A unique antibody screening platform based on Digital Microfluidics

For community acquired Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI), the greatest clinical need for the physician to be able to rapidly distinguish patients presenting with viral RTI from those with bacterial RTI. Viruses not always have dsDNA, making the development of a nucleic acid based assay challenging. Proteins provide an excellent alternative target, attainable by antibody-based tests. Those tests do not require target amplification, making them inherently fast, an important criterion for primary care settings. Developing a highly multiplexed antibody-based test capable of working directly on the clinical sample is however challenging. In this project, the candidate will further develop an antibody screening platform based on digital Microfluidics to enable selection of highly specific viral and bacterial antibodies. Using this, a multiplexed bioassay will be developed capable of detecting specific viral and bacterial proteins, in a solution derived directly from a clinical sample. This bioassay will be integrated on the OSTE+ polymer lateral flow platform technology developed by ESR 2.

  • Arenberg Doctoral School, KU Leuven University (Belgium).  
  • IDiaLiST platform, a collaboration between the MeBioS-Biosensor group ( and PharmAbs, the KU Leuven Antibody center (
  • KU Leuven Campus Kortrijk, Etienne Sabbelaan 53, 8500 Kortrijk (Belgium)
  • Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH) – Micro and nanosystems (MST) department – OSQULDAS VÄG 10, Stockholm – Sweden
  • Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH) – Clinical microfluidics lab, SciLife Institute ( – Tomtebodavägen 23A, 17165 Solna – Sweden

Specific profile requirements

  • You have a master degree with distinction in biomedical sciences, bioscience engineering or biochemistry
  • Especially candidates with experience with immunology and/or bio-assay development are requested to apply for this position
  • Candidates must be able to start on March 1, 2016.