Developing technologies to identify novel therapeutic options and to assess cardio-metabolic effects in vivo.

Cardio-metabolic disease is a major public health problem. It is the leading cause of death worldwide with almost 20% of all deaths being cardiac-related. Area 3 addresses acute and chronic pathophysiological processes involved in cardio-metabolic disease using an interdisciplinary approach by integrating metabolic, hormonal, inflammatory, and infectious disease aspects.

By utilising cutting-edge technologies, our aim is to develop reliable, quality-controlled, and cost-effective biomarkers. These biomarkers will serve as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tools for identifying cardiometabolic impairments, optimising therapeutic approaches, and monitoring the eff ectiveness of interventions over time.

WE AIM TO REDUCE THE BURDEN OF CARDIO-METABOLIC DISEASE

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major public health problem. Although the mortality rates of CVD have decreased substantially over the last decade, almost half of all deaths are still attributed to CVD. Biomarker-guided cardiovascular disease risk prediction, biomarker-based treatment selection, and response monitoring have been proposed in recent years, but the addition of a set of biomarkers to establish risk scores has been moderately successful in improving cardiovascular risk prediction.

Obesity and diabetes likely represent the most challenging threat to public health in the 21st century. The main contributing factors for developing type 2 diabetes range from nutritional habits and sedentary lifestyle causing insulin resistance, but also include factors like genetic/epigenetic predisposition. The overall aim of this project is to investigate biomarkers for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction, response to treatment, and cardiovascular-related risk conditions.

Method to Determine the State of the Humoral Immune System in Patients with Liver Disease

Bacterial infections are common in liver cirrhosis. They are not easily detected, which can lead to the development of serious complications and even death. There are no routine tests available to predict susceptibility.

A reliable, easy-to-assess, and functional biomarker with the possibility of fully automated handling capable of identifying patients at risk for developing infections has been developed. This biomarker is based on the cell-free (humoral) immune response of the body that can detect and kill pathogens. It utilises the growth tendencies of a specific strain of bacteria in human serum to predict the outcome of a patient. AGRA (Acellular growth retardation ability) predicts the occurence of severe infections in patients with liver cirrhosis, accurately identifies patients at risk of infections, and tracks treatment success (EP17181908.9).

Biomarkers for Clinical Decision Support in Intensive Care

In intensive care, cumulative fluid balance may serve as a biomarker for critical illness. The Medical University of Graz and B. Braun Melsungen AG have collaborated on the development of an in-silico model of intensive care patients’ fluid balance. The model can describe the patients’ behaviour on fluid management over time, and moreover provides a prediction of their response throughout their stay in the intensive care unit. A patent application was filed in 2018 preparing the model for translation into clinical applicability.

Electrochemical Biomarker Detection in Common Metabolic Disorders

The aim of the project was to develop an electrochemical detection system for urine biomarkers, e.g. C-peptide, widely used for diabetes patients and pregnant women. Basic properties of the detection system from corrosion aspects to voltammetry results were established and optimised together with the industry partner. Proof of principle measurements have shown the detection capabilities using chip-based immunoassay at different protein concentrations. A prototype was successfully designed and included urinary collection and detection. Further technological developments are planned and promising biomarkers in urine, including candidates for clinical purposes and for electrochemical detection, have been identified for future applications.

Research projects

CBmed projects aim to develop easily applicable, targeted, minimally invasive biomarkers for better diagnosis, better therapy monitoring and a more personalized treatment of patients.

MARKUS WALLNER
Scientific Leader Area 3

The COMET Center CBmed is funded within COMET – Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT), the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (BMDW), Land Steiermark (Styrian Business Promotion Agency – SFG) and Land Wien (Vienna Business Agency – WAW). The COMET program is executed by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

CBmed GmbH Center for Biomarker Research in Medicine
Stiftingtalstrasse 5   8010 Graz   Austria   office@cbmed.at   +43 316 385 28801

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