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Developing new methods to monitor biological rhythms

Academic researchers and commercial partners presented their novel work on hormonal diseases and endocrine monitoring at the Ultradian conference in Bergen last week.

Eystein Husebye og Stafford Lightman
Eystein Husebye and Stafford Lightman
Photo:
Ingrid Hagerup

“If you want this kind of data, today, the patient has to stay in bed while and draw blood continuously. Needless to says, this is quite intensive and unpleasant for the patient”, Stafford Lightman explains.

He is one of the world leaders in studying biological rhythms in both human and animal models, and works for the University of Bristol. He is also a partner at the Ultradion project, and is responsible for the idea of a new sampler, which hopes to make the examination less tedious for the patients.

“What this machine does is to sample the tissue fluid while the patient is doing his daily life activities. In this way he is freed from the bed and hospital, and when he returns after 24 hours, we sample and analyze the data”, he explains.

“This is the future”

The sampler is called U-rhythm and consist of a little machine, tiny enough to almost fit in your pocket. It is connected to your body fluid through a small catheter that are inserted at the hospital. The monitoring will be painless and almost effortless for the patient, compared to today’s monitoring of hormonal rhythms. The project also includes novel laboratory methods that can extract complex data that show hormonal rhythms throughout the day.

At the Ultradian conference all the different partners were gathered to present their work.

“We have invited speakers who visualize different aspects of biological rhythms and how it impacts hormonal diseases. Still some of the data are preliminary, but it looks rather good and we hope to publish our data quite soon", Eystein Husebye, leader of the Ultradian project, explains

Commercialization is the next step

Lightman explains:

“Right now we are working out what is normal and what happens when people has diseases. We have to do basic research, and as soon as we have published it, we expect people to start wanting it for their own hospitals”, he says.

“Commercialization is the next phase. Hopefully, in the near future, the apparatus will be in the marked”, Huseby maintains.

Ultradian an EU funded Horizon 2020 project.