RWTH-Team “Aixsense” takes part in international student competition




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Eight students from RWTH Aachen University are taking part in the SensUs competition as team “Aixsense.” The competition is supported by the European Institute of Technology Health and has been organized by Eindhoven University of Technology every year since 2016. The competition's objective is always the development of innovative biosensing systems for the treatment of medical problems.


In this year’s competition, 15 teams worldwide are currently working on a sensor concept that will help in the treatment of epilepsy. About 50 million people are affected by this disease. To control the seizures, Valproic acid is often used and it usually also helps ameliorate the other symptoms. However, even a slight overdose can cause severe side effects. It is, therefore, necessary to check the patients’ blood levels frequently. Quick and cheap tests that could be done at home would be a great help.

“To separate valproic acid from other blood components during testing, we use nanoporous organometallic framework compounds. Our idea is to adjust the pore size and affinity in such a way that only valproic acid reaches the electrodes where it changes the impedance signal,” says Stefan Leisten. The 25-year-old is enrolled in the RWTH Master’s program in Materials Science. He learned about the competition while working on a student research project at the Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering 1. He quickly found others who were also interested in taking part, and the interdisciplinary team now includes students of electrical and biomedical engineering. “This competition is a perfect opportunity to gain experience in the design, manufacture, and marketing of biomedical sensors and to make contact with companies in the process,” says Shilpa Shuresh, describing her motivation.

Professor Sven Ingebrandt and Dr. Vivek Pachauri from the RWTH Institute of Materials in Electrical Engineering 1 support the team. AMO GmbH, headed by RWTH Professor Max Lemme, is also partnering with the students.

The results of the competition will be presented online on August 28, 2020. A jury will decide on the most creative screening concept and its business potential, and an audience award will also be presented to a chosen team.

Source: Press and Communications