A new €5m centre which aims to develop devices capable of rapidly diagnosing illnesses using small amounts of bodily fluids has launched at Dublin City University. 

The Fraunhofer Project Centre (FPC) for Embedded BioAnalytical Systems is a partnership between the university, Science Foundation Ireland and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology. 

€2.5m of the funding is coming from Science Foundation Ireland with the Fraunhofer Institute putting up the other half over the five-year period of the project. 

The centre will focus on designing, developing and producing "Lab-on-a-Chip" technologies, which can use microfluids like tiny blood or water samples to quickly determine the nature of an illness or the contents of the fluid. 

Among the types of applications the devices will be used for are personal healthcare, pharmaceutical production, life-science research, quality testing in agri-food and environmental monitoring. 

The centre will build on research, knowledge and expertise carried out at DCU in this area of science over the past 10 years. 

This work has led to DCU developing an international reputation and academic collaborations as well as industry links in the sector. 

It is hoped that Fraunhofer's experience in scaling up from prototype to mass-production will help bring some of the discoveries to market much more quickly than before.

"This Fraunhofer Project Centre at Dublin City University is geared to provide next-generation Lab-on-a-Chip technologies for translating 21st century breakthroughs in medical research and the life sciences into reality for the direct benefit of people's health and lives," said Professor Jens Ducrée, Director of the new FPC.