Translation of clinical markers of neonatal oxygen deficiency into a new diagnostic tool to prevent early infant brain damage and guide individualized therapy
Oxygen deprivation that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth (perinatal asphyxia) is a serious health problem in newborns and is the third leading cause of death in infants born at term. Of the surviving babies, more than 1 million annually develop severe brain damage (neonatal encephalopathy (HIE)), with possible severe impairments. Reliable diagnosis of asphyxia/HIE is the prerequisite for timely therapy based on cold treatment (hypothermia) to avoid irreversible late damage and extensive follow-up costs. To date, diagnosis has been difficult with ~40% of affected infants are not identified within the therapeutic window of 6 hours after birth.
The aim of project AsphyxDx is to develop a diagnostic approach based on the quantification of small endogenous metabolites using nanopore-based, as well as other, rapid tests. The technically simple quantification of small molecules without the use of marker molecules, e.g. via nanopores, is of global biomedical and diagnostic interest. Novel point-of -care test systems will be developed for this purpose. Furthermore, a foundation for future, demand-oriented, individualized nutrition of premature infants will be laid leading to an expected significant increase in survival rates.
University Hospital Tübingen
The project is funded within the funding line “Forum Gesundheitsstandort BW” by BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH and by the Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing (WM BWL), FKZ 35-4223.10/17