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.

  • Project duration– 05
  • Research ThemeMedical Technologies

Project partners

Furtwangen University

University Hospital Tübingen

University Leipzig

InfanDx AG


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



Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Hans-Peter DeignerPhone 07720 307-4232

Deigner Group


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Matthias KohlPhone 07720 307-4635

Kohl Group