HomeProjectsBiomedical Sciences and Healthcare TechnologiesQuickCAS: An Easy-To-Use Analysis System for Quick Detection of Infectious Pathogens in Clinical Samples

QuickCAS: An Easy-To-Use Analysis System for Quick Detection of Infectious Pathogens in Clinical Samples

Project Quick Facts

Principal Investigator

  • Prof. ZHANG Li

    Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering

  • Funding

    Innovation and Technology Commission

  • Collaboration

    Institute of Digestive Disease, CUHK

  • Sponsorship

    Tolo Research Limited

  • Award

    Bronze Medal, International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva 2021

Infectious diseases cause 50,000 deaths daily. Early detection is essential for timely treatment and prevention. However, current diagnostic methods face limitations in long reaction time, high costs, or require specialists to conduct labour-intensive procedures. To tackle this, we developed a fast and effortless detection system, which integrates a novel microrobotic sensing probe capable of detecting a specific pathogen with magnetic field and fluorescence. Our first product QuickCAS targets the detection of C. difficile infection, one of the most typical infections in hospitals. This technology has filed a US nonprovisional patent and a Chinese invention patent.

Uniqueness and Competitive Advantages:

  • Quick detection (15 mins vs 2-4 hours with present protocol)
  • Low cost (US$5 vs US$40)
  • Fully automated, which does not require specialised manpower for tedious procedures and reduces risk of infection especially during highly infectious pathogen detection
  • Prototype system ready to be deployed in hospitals for clinical trials
  • Can be applicable to batch and multiplex detection of different pathogens, including* COVID-19, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella, Pathogenic E. coli. and H. pylori

* Under development with Department of Microbiology, CUHK

Detection workflow of C. diff with QuickCAS and its detection mechanism

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