TBI is a sudden external injury that causes damage to the brain. This condition affects around 50 million people worldwide with consequences that can last a lifetime or even be fatal. The most common TBI type is mild TBI, also known as concussion. This condition is poorly defined and current diagnostic methods (MRI and CT scans) are not specific enough, on top of being very costly. Developing a biosensor for a biomarker such as GFAP would simultaneously aid in defining the condition and also allow for more specific treatment.
The International SensUs Student competition is a coalition of approximately 20 national and international universities whose goal is to stimulate the development of Point-of-Care biosensors. This is achieved by organizing a friendly competition where students design and fabricate innovative biosensors. In the last edition, the team from Wageningen University & Research came second in the Analytical Performance category! Each year, the SensUs team chooses a societally impactful indicator of health as an objective in collaboration with different stakeholders. This year the selected biomarker is GFAP, a marker for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
Teams usually consist of 10 to 15 students, partly with a (bio)chemical and partly with a technical/equipment background. One or two students with a business /marketing background will be of help in finding companies to sponsor the team and to explore entrepreneurship. Communication can also help creating exposure for the team and the solution. The Challenge is open to BSc and MSc students from WUR and is largely extra-curricular. We estimate a required investment of around 4-8 hrs per week.
What’s in it for you?
This is a great opportunity to create real impact, as you and your team will work on solving a “real life” problem. Collaboration, team building, as well as creativity and innovative thinking will be needed and developed during this challenge. You will be supervised by BIP, BNT, and WFBR groups. To cover part of your time investment, there will be the option to obtain credits either via a Capita Selecta, by following the Student Challenge courses (YWU-51803 and YWU-52309) or by choosing a related BSc or MSc thesis topic.
In the previous challenge, prizes were awarded for creativity, analytical performance and translation potential with regard to business, finance and stakeholders.