This site is intended for health professionals only

Hi-tech allergy test wins award

A new technique that can test for up to 5,000 different allergens from just one drop of blood has won a prestigious national award.

The laboratory-based test was developed by scientists at the University of Nottingham, working with colleagues from Nottingham City Hospital's Centre for Respiratory Research.

The innovation has won the team a Da Vinci Award in the Breakthrough Technology category, along with a £15,000 prize to be used towards further research.

The Da Vinci Awards recognise collaborative projects that lead to the potential commercialisation of healthcare innovations to save lives and improve services to patients.

Dr Franco Falcone, associate professor at the University of Nottingham's School of Pharmacy, welcomed the award, commenting: "Getting funding from research councils for such a project is not always easy, so this is why Da Vinci award funding is ideal because it's seed funding that we can then use to underpin a major grant application."

The new technology could be used as an alternative to the traditional skin-prick test. It mimics human allergic reaction, and could eventually be developed as a diagnostic tool for parasitic infections.

Dr Marcos Alcocer, a lecturer at the university's School of Biosciences, said: "What we have to do now is examine the results of our test further and then assess how well it works compared to the gold standard techniques currently used for diagnosis."

Copyright © Press Association 2008

University of Nottingham