Project at Health Tech aims to monitor drugs in cancer patients

Monday 10 Aug 20


Anja Boisen
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 57 27

Co-founded companies

Silmeco (2013)

Blusense Diagnostics (2014)

Lightnovo (2019)

Cantion (2002)

Researchers from DTU Health Tech are developing a small tabletop device that can measure therapeutic drugs in blood in a matter of minutes. 

The project recently received a three-year development grant of DKK 18 million from BioInnovation Institute.

It is critical to monitor the concentration of therapeutic drugs in a patient’s blood regularly as everybody breaks down drugs differently. It can have serious consequences if medication is not administered correctly, but hospitals are dependent on lab equipment for analysing blood samples and it can take many hours before the results come in.

Meeting needs and making a difference

After speaking with doctors about this issue, Professor and Centre Leader Anja Boisen from DTU Health Tech decided to do something about it.

Thus, she put together a research team to develop a point-of-care device that can monitor if a patient gets the correct dosage in a matter of minutes. And it only takes a single drop of blood.

The tabletop device will make a huge difference in cancer therapy where a wrong dosage of medication has serious repercussion. Since it will be both quick and easy, doctors will be able to follow up several times a day.

“The technology is based on Raman spectroscopy – a measurement by light”, Prof. Boisen explains, “it will most likely be used for medication with a small therapeutic window where too much medication is really dangerous and too little has no effect”.

"As researchers, we have a unique opportunity to contributing. And it’s OK to take chances and fail"
Professor Anja Boisen

The team is looking forward to a collaboration with BioInnovation Institute after receiving a three-year development grant of DKK 18 million. 

“Having financial safety for the next 3 years means a lot. We can continue to mature the technology and get it tested. A collaboration with BII, with access to their facilities and topnotch business knowledge, is also extremely valuable”, says Prof. Boisen about the grant and upcoming collaboration with BII.

Why innovation at universities matters

Having co-founded no less than 4 startups, Prof. Anja Boisen is no stranger to innovation.

”Innovation is important for society, and we have so much knowledge at the universities. We already publish a lot, and we have gotten better at taking patents. So why not take that extra step? As researchers, we have a unique opportunity to contribute. And it’s OK to take chances and fail.”

Surely, being a Professor and Centre Leader with several innovation projects must take a lot of personal drive. 

“I take a lot of inspiration from speaking with doctors about their concrete needs and sparing with different types of people with different areas of expertise”, she explains. Her drive is based on curiosity, being open to new ideas and, most importantly, making an impact in society.