PROMPT SEPSIS : Partnership for Rapid On-site Microfluidic POC Test for Sepsis

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: Reproductive and Developmental Medicine


The University of Liverpool (UoL) has identified a combination of 3 biomarkers which provide good discrimination of sepsis
in febrile children. MicroLab Devices (MLD), Forsite Diagnostics (FD) and UoL have combined their technology to develop
an innovative point-of-care (POC) diagnostic system combining microfluidic and lateral flow technology to provide a
disposable, zero energy platform for measuring this combination of sepsis markers. The project will refine the POC system
for the introduction of raw saliva or blood samples directly into the system and validate the device using clinical samples to
create a diagnostic algorithm to guide decision making. The innovation lies in the novel combination of biomarkers AND the
combined platform technologies that provide a new diagnostic system to allow the detection of sepsis rapidly and cheaply.
The test has the potential to reduce delays in diagnosis and unnecessary admissions to hospital and the platform has the
potential to impact across the whole POC market.

Planned Impact

Products and interventions
We will develop a POC device that will improve the early diagnosis and management of sepsis.
Intellectual property
The results of our work will be commercially exploited, and our unique combination of biomarkers on the microfluidic/lateral
flow platform will be formally registered.
Wealth creation, economic prosperity and regeneration
If our project is successful it will be manufactured and marketed by two UK SMEs which will stimulate the UK economy and
increase UK wealth.
Enhancing the effectiveness and sustainability of organisations
Our POC device if successful will reduce waiting times in the ED and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions which will
improve the efficiency of hospital bed usage.
Improving health and well-being
By reducing delays in diagnosis of severe sepsis, there will be less complications such as amputations, skin grafts (from
severe meningococcal septicaemia) and less neurological sequelae, thereby increasing the well-being of the nation.
Changing organisational culture and practices
Our diagram in Appendix A depicts a proposed flow of patients through the ED, with the introduction of a new POC device,
leading to shorter waiting times and more efficient use of health care staff.
Influence on policy
This study aims to introduce a POC device into clinical decisions on the management of suspected sepsis in adults and
children. Our data could inform national policy such as the NICE guidelines for assessment of the febrile child.
Global health problems: In resource-poor settings lacking laboratory facilities or highly skilled staff, our POC test could
improve judicious prescribing of antibiotics helping to reduce antibiotic resistance, which is a growing public health problem


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Description MRC Confidence in Concept
Amount £69,910 (GBP)
Organisation University of Liverpool 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2014 
End 09/2015
Description Collaboration with Avacta Life sciences 
Organisation Avacta Group
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution we have contributed clinical input and samples
Collaborator Contribution provision of peptide arrays and analysis
Impact MRC CIC application
Start Year 2013