evFOUNDRY: researchers through pandemic and beyond

evFOUNDRY researchers contribute to face the COVID-19 crisis

 

The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of a tight relationship between scientists and society to face the emergency. During COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, the team of the FET-OPEN H2020 project evFOUNDRY – The Extracellular Vesicle Foundry fully embraced the motto “Science with and for Society” with great impetus and accepted the challenge.

 

Indeed, not only PhD-student Anne Borup, from the Aarhus University (Denmark) team, has been volunteering at Aarhus University Hospital in the organization of “drive-in” tests for Corona virus, but Dr. Richard Gillams and Prof. Hywel Morgan from Southampton University (UK) also developed a Personal Respirator for healthcare professionals treating COVID-19 (PeRSo). The prototype addresses the limitations of the existing protective equipment and has been praised by doctors, nurses and general public. The design is freely available online and manufacturers are now managing to upscale its production.

 

evFOUNDRY’s contribution against the pandemic is not over. As a matter of fact, the evFOUNDRY project objective is to create an integrated modular-system for the reproducible separation and analysis of biogenic nanoparticles (i.e. extracellular vesicles (EVs), viruses) under continuous flow. This could contribute to the development of a device to separate more precisely the viral particles from body fluids for a more specific diagnosis.

 

In addition, Utrecht University (the Netherlands), led by Prof. Marca Wauben, just published that EVs from human milk have immunomodulatory activity. This hints to a potential nasal/oral application to dampen overactive immune responses, reported in the lung (and possibly also in the gut) during SARS-CoV infection.

 

Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash