Epilepsy is scary, treatment shouldn’t be
We are a team of 11 passionate students from KU Leuven who bring our scientific knowledge, creative input and energy to the platform provided to us by SensUs. We belong to multiple branches of science, ranging from bioinformatics to nano-technology, and hope to work towards developing a biosensor that can enable drug monitoring in epileptic patients.
Why a biosensor?
About 70% of epileptic patients take only medication and remain attack free, however, it is nearly impossible for them to monitor drug concentration in their blood. Existing solutions in the market account as expensive devices that can only be accessed or operated by professional lab-workers . In many cases they are difficult for the patients to even interpret on their own. In saying so, we acknowledge that epilepsy has indeed affected almost 50 million people globally, of which 80% live in low/middle-income countries. It is imperative for us students to use our skills and energy for a purpose that can possibly help ameliorate millions of lives in the future. In this regard, biosensors have proven to be a great facility to help detect bodily chemicals due to their high specificity, user-friendliness and durability. Considering all the present-day research and struggles of epileptic patients, we believe that developing this biosensor can undoubtedly improve their quality of life.
Why we, the students, decide to take part in SensUs?
We as students in the field of science are aware that we are the future generation to work in the biomedical research field. We will be the one to challenge the research and use of technology to bring better, faster and ambitiously cheaper health care to the world. That is why we decided that we start early with this task! Our current project builds on the advantages of using a biosensor, but there is ample scope of improving and creating more detection techniques, medical devices and medication. SensUs is a platform that already reaches a wide audience of researchers, medical workers and patients that can benefit with new-age medicine and technology. In our case, we cater to epileptic patients. Health care is rapidly changing towards personalised medicine, and developing this particular biosensor will help this evolution. Even if our device is not the best it will help research in the time to come. Besides possibly making a mark in the healthcare field, we also decided to take part in this competition for personal development. This is a great opportunity for us to develop certain skills that we will need when we graduate from attending classes and start working in the real world. This experience allows us to work in a multidisciplinary team and figure out how to work with different kinds of people. Remarkably, we would learn a lot from working in a lab as we are challenged to tackle problems and not just follow what is written in the protocol.