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​Needle-free probe provides information on how organs and tissues recover after surgery

News   •   Jan 30, 2017 12:27 GMT

The OnZurf Probe

Senzime has developed an integrated monitoring system that can provide information on the state of a body’s organs. A probe (OnZurf Probe) placed on the tissue surface collects a microdialysis sample that is read by an instrument (CliniSenz Analyzer). Senzime is one of the companies that received funding in the BIO-X call ‘New diagnostic solutions for disease monitoring’.

“Our system has many advantages if we compare it with the competition. Other microdialysis systems have to penetrate the tissue to retrieve sample, something that means extra stress for the organs. Moreover, CliniSenz uses a different measurement technology. This means that its readings are not affected by other substances, e.g. medications, in the same way that other systems are”, says Sara Vazda, clinical development specialist at Senzime.

One part of the CliniSenz concept is the CliniSenz Analyzer, an instrument developed for the continuous monitoring of patients’ health status. This is a proven technology platform that originated from research conducted in the 1990s. One typical use is monitoring how organs and tissues recover from lack of oxygen.

“In order to know how the organs are doing, we have chosen to monitor the levels of glucose and lactate. Lactate especially can give a clear indication of the body's metabolic condition; high lactate concentrations usually mean that something is not right”, says Sara.

The other part is the OnZurf Probe, a microdialysis probe. Its inventor is Dr Pernilla Abrahamsson, today Senzime’s Marketing and Sales Director but previously a researcher at the Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care at the University of Umeå.

“Pernilla’s great discovery is that it is just as good to measure on the surface of a organ as to insert a probe and measure within it”, notes Sara. Moreover, it puts less stress on the organ, which helps both the patient and the caregiver by saving time, resources and money, as well as giving more reliable results.

In one clinical research project, CliniSenz system will be used to follow the recovery of patients who have had their esophagus operated on. Here, the greatest risk of complications occurs after a few days.

“The surgeons make a tube-like reconstruction of organs where they form the stomach and sew it together with what remains of the esophagus”, explains Sara. It’s precisely at the seam between the two that we need a monitor to ensure that problems don’t arise. Using the OnZurf probe, we intend to follow the concentration of lactate in the tissue and – hopefully – detect early signs of post-operative complications.

Sara Vazda is very pleased with the collaboration with Uppsala BIO. Next on the agenda is a health economic study, implementation of the clinical trial, and the painstaking work of going from a development company to a sales organisation.

“BIO-X coaches help us with an overview of what needs to be done in order to make progress with our projects. In this way, BIO-X is a concept that really works well and that helps bridge the gap between academia and industry. Then there’s great prestige in being part of a group that receives funding through BIO-X; we usually joke that “we won the BIO-X prize”.

Microdialysis on the surface of organs

In analytical chemistry, microdialysis means capturing chemical substances through a semi-permeable membrane and leading them into a measuring chamber where they are analyzed by an instrument. To achieve this sampling, the collection probe is usually inserted into the tissue. What Pernilla Abrahamsson’s research showed was that the interstitial fluid, i.e. the fluid in cavities between the tissue’s cells, could be captured by a probe placed on the surface of organs or tissues.

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