The increased population density in modern animal production systems has made them vulnerable to various transboundary infectious agents & diseases. During the last decades in the developed world, a reduction in the direct burden of livestock diseases has been observed, because of more effective drugs & vaccines. However, the total impact may actually be increasing, because in a highly-interconnected world, the effects of diseases extend far beyond animal sickness & mortality. Therefore, early diagnosis and establishment of reliable countermeasures to infectious disease outbreaks is essential to limit severe biophysical and socio-economic consequences.
To date, the time between initial disease outbreak and laboratory confirmation of the etiologic infectious agent can be up to several weeks. Reliable & simple diagnostic testing directly on site would enable rapid local decision making,
which is crucial to prevent further spreading of the disease.
Silicon-based Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) have been demonstrated as a powerful platform for biosensing systems. In combination with integrated monoclonal antibodies, they can provide portable multiplex detection of proteins with sensitivity & specificity previously not realized. SWINOSTICS addresses the sector needs, by developing a novel field diagnostic device, based on advanced, proven, bio-sensing technologies to tackle viruses causing epidemics in swine farms and leading to relevant economic damages, complying to the objectives of the STAR-IDAZ. The diagnostic device will allow threat assessment at the farm level, with the analytical quality of commercial laboratories. The device will be developed for a panel of 6 important swine diseases. The device will be portable & will provide results in a few minutes for 4-5 samples simultaneously, making it highly suitable for field use. It is based on 3 lab-verified concepts: a) PIC technology, b) Label-free optical detection, c) patented nano-deposition technology.