Important legal notice
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Health - Taking the temperature of European healthcare
“To develop a cheap, fast and efficient system to screen donated blood for disease without requiring a sophisticated laboratory setting.”

The problem

Donated blood and other tissues and organs are a precious medical resource, but there is an urgent need to improve the technologies for screening these biological samples for diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C. The risks are greatest in less developed countries where the incidence of infected blood is highest. These are also the countries where any proposed testing procedures must be cheap, simple and quick so as to make their routine and widespread use feasible. A portable testing system that does not require a sophisticated laboratory would be ideal.

RaSP  Faster, cheaper, better testing for safety of blood


RaSP will develop a very fast, cheap and sensitive testing method with the potential to detect more than 100 blood pathogens simultaneously.

The project will:

  • Design and produce nanochips coated with monoclonal antibodies that can be used for the diagnosis of blood borne infections and can be modified for use with other body fluids.
  • Manufacture a prototype portable device to test for most blood borne viruses, based on antibody-virus, antibody-antibody and antigen-antibody interactions
  • Allow the test procedure to be performed in one step, outside of a laboratory environment, wherever blood is collected from donors

Contribution to policy development:

  • RaSP will feedback into national policy-making committees and networks of excellence
  • The project will facilitate more effective regulations, by providing a more efficient testing method
  • The RaSP system could become part of a European standard test for screening human blood
  • Possible use of the RaSP system to support policies monitoring the entry of biological materials, livestock, pets and domestic animals to Europe

Project deliverables

  • Defined standards for a successful system – February-May 2007
  • Sensor chips and biochemical systems – January 2008-January 2009
  • Control software and user interface – April 2009
  • Fully operational prototype system – April 2009


  • Announcement of results on project website – mid project and end of project
  • Announcements in specialist bulletins and newsletters on medical microdevices and microsystems – as results become available
  • Invited meetings to present and demonstrate the blood test to potential users – November 2009-January 2010
  • Demonstrations at international medical device conferences and exhibitions – November 2009-January 2010

Technical information

Project acronym: RaSP
Project’s official full title: Rapid SPR for parallel detection of pathogens in blood
Research priority: Public health issues, including epidemiology contributing to disease prevention and responses to emerging rare and communicable diseases, allergies, procedures for secure blood and organ donations, non-animal test methods
Specific webpage: 
Proposal/contract no: SP5A-CT-2006-044515
Start date: 1 January 2007
Kick off meeting: 25-26 January, 2007
Completion date: 31 December, 2009
European Commission scientific officer: Cornelius Schmaltz,

Name: Fraunhofer Gesellschaft e.V., Institut für Biomedizinische Technik
Abbreviated name: IBMT
Address: Ensheimer Strasse 48, 66386 Sankt Ingbert
Country: Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 6894/980-301
Fax: +49 (0) 6894/980-400


Name: University of Budapest
Abbreviated name: UniBu
Country: Hungary          

Name: University of Birmingham
Abbreviated name: UniBi
Country: United Kingdom

Name: University of Regensburg
Abbreviated name: UniRe
Country: Germany

Name: The Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines
Abbreviated name: VACSERA
Country: Egypt

Name: MikroMikoMed Ltd
Abbreviated name: MMM
Country: Hungary

Name: Institute for Analytical Sciences, Dortmund
Abbreviated name: ISAS
Country: Germany

Name: Mivitec GmbH
Abbreviated name: Mivitec
Country: Germany

Name: V.Lashkaryov Institut of Semiconductor Physics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Abbreviated name: ISP NASU
Country: Ukraine