The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet is a novel initiative aimed to promote efficient integration of cutting edge technologies and medical research.

The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet is uniquely positioned within the medical faculty where medical problems guide the nanoscience development within a setting that offers a blend of technological, pre-clinical and clinical expertise.The Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center will act as a knowledge hub on the national and international arena, forming a physical platform where scientists from the fields of medicine and engineering intimately collaborate in real life. This will foster a new breed of scientists with true interdisciplinary knowledge.

Agneta Richter-Dahlfors

Haris Charalampos Antypas, PhD, received the €25k Gold Award of the PhD Transition Fellowship Programme from EIT Health and an additional €25k award from Karolinska Institutet to accelerate the development of a diagnostic assay for biofilm-related infections

Haris is a postdoctoral researcher in Agneta Richter-Dahlfors group at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center at Karolinska Institutet. During his doctoral studies in Richter-Dahlfors group, Haris developed a diagnostic assay for biofilm-related urinary tract infections, which was recently featured in journal NPJ Biofilms and Microbiomes. This assay is based on a group of molecules called “optotracers”, which emit a spectral signature when bound to biofilm components. Knowing whether a patient has a biofilm-related urinary tract infection could help clinicians prescribe a more effective antibiotic treatment.

“I am honored to receive funding from EIT Health and Karolinska Institutet to pursue the commercialization of this project,” said Haris. “In the following months, my goal is to carry out market research to understand current needs for biofilm detection in clinical diagnostics, but also to demonstrate further the applicability of optotracers in patient samples.”


Our latest research on biofilm diagnostics is featured on the web page of the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)

Part-funded by SSF, this project addresses the urgent need for better clinical microbiology diagnostics. A group of chemical molecules called optotracers was used to detect cellulose in urine samples from patients with urinary tract infections within less than 45 minutes. Detection of cellulose in urine serves as a rapid way to understand whether a patient has a bacterial infection and whether this infection is associated with biofilm formation.

New Diagnostic test for the detection of infections caused by biofilms

 Rapid diagnostic assay for detection of cellulose in urine as biomarker for biofilm-related urinary tract infections

Haris Antypas, Ferdinand X. Choong, Ben Libberton, Annelie Brauner & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes (2018) 4:26; doi:10.1038/s41522-018-0069-y

Bacteria such as Escherichia coli are known to hide during an infection by encasing themselves in slime. When they grow like this, clusters of bacteria are called a biofilm and they are hard to detect and hard to treat with antibiotics. We decided to tackle the problem by looking for the slime that protects the bacteria, instead of the bacteria themselves. The important part of this new sensor is that humans naturally do not produce any cellulose so if the sensor lights up there is a high probability that you have an infection. We collected urine samples from Karolinska University Hospital and began testing if the method would work in the clinic. The sensor not only alerts medical staff to the presence of bacteria, but it also gives information of how the bacteria are growing which is very important for treatment. Bacteria growing in biofilms are much more resistant to antibiotics and having this information can help determine the correct course of treatment. As the test is completely non-invasive, it is hoped that it could be used in the future to help diagnose stubborn urinary tract infections in patients.

Congratulations to Assoc. Prof. Anna Herland for her new publication in Nature Biotechnology!


A linked organ-on-chip model of the human neurovascular unit reveals the metabolic coupling of endothelial and neuronal cells
Ben M Maoz, Anna Herland, Edward A FitzGerald, Thomas Grevesse, Charles Vidoudez, Alan R Pacheco, Sean P Sheehy, Tae-Eun Park, Stephanie Dauth, Robert Mannix, Nikita Budnik, Kevin Shores, Alexander Cho, Janna C Nawroth, Daniel Segrè, Bogdan Budnik, Donald E Ingber & Kevin Kit Parker
Nature Biotechnology, 20 August 2018

Welcome to the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center Anna Herland and Team!

Anna Herland is Associate Professor at the Swedish Medical Nanoscience Center. Research in the Herland Lab is focused on in vitro neural models and Hybrid Bioelectrical Systems. The aim of the research is to understand neuronal interactions with other neural and neurovascular cells, specifically in terms of metabolic function and neuronal activity. The core technology is based on human primary and stem cell-derived neural cells combined with fluidic and electronic device construction.

Rapid Phenotypic Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing of Uropathogens Using Optical Signal Analysis on the Nanowell Slide
Marta Veses-Garcia, Haris Antypas, Susanne Löffler, Anneli Brauner & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Front. Microbiol., 10 July 2018

A universal platform for selection and high-resolution phenotypic screening of bacterial mutants using the nanowell slide 
Haris Antypas, Marta Veses-Garcia, Emilie Weibull, Helene Andersson-Svahn & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Lab on a Chip, doi:10.1039/C8LC00190A (2018)

More Information

Stereochemical identification of glucans by oligothiophenes enables cellulose anatomical mapping in plant tissues
Ferdinand X. Choong, Marcus Bäck, Anette Schulz, K. Peter. R. Nilsson, Ulrica Edlund & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 3108 (2018)

See the video: here

This paper has been cited in following media outlets:


Electroenhanced Antimicrobial Coating Based on Conjugated Polymers with Covalently Coupled Silver Nanoparticles Prevents Staphylococcus aureus Biofilm Formation
Salvador Gomez-Carretero, Rolf Nybom & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Advanced Healthcare Materials 6:20, 2192-2659 (2017)

This paper has been cited in following media outlets:


Redox-active conducting polymers modulate Salmonella biofilm formation by controlling availability of electron acceptors
Salvador Gomez-Carretero, Ben Libberton, Mikael Rhen & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes 3, 19 (2017)

Electrochemically triggered release of acetylcholine from scCO2 impregnated conductive polymer films evokes intracellular Ca2 + signaling in neurotypic SH-SY5Y cells
Susanne Löffler, Silke Seyock, Rolf Nybom, Gunilla B Jacobson & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Journal of Controlled Release 243:283–290 (2016)


Real-time optotracing of curli and cellulose in live Salmonella biofilms using luminescent oligothiophenes
Ferdinand X. Choong, Marcus Bäck, Sara Fahlén, Leif BG Johansson, Keira Melican, Mikael Rhen, K. Peter R. Nilsson & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
npj Biofilms and Microbiomes 2, 16024 (2016)

Agneta Richter-Dahlfors is talking about Biofilms on Swedish National TV program "Godmorgon Sverige" on SVT
If you always wondered what Biofilms are and why its important to being able to see them, you can watch Agneta Richter-Dahlfors' descritive interview.

Nondestructive, real-time determination and visualization of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin by luminescent oligothiophenes
Ferdinand X. Choong, Marcus Bäck, Svava E. Steiner, Keira Melican, K. Peter R. Nilsson, Ulrica Edlund & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 35578 (2016)


An organic electronic biomimetic neuron enables auto-regulated neuromodulation
Daniel T. Simon, Karin C. Larsson, David Nilsson, Gustav Burström, Dagmar Galter, Magnus Berggren & Agneta Richter-Dahlfors
Biosensors and Bioelectronics (2015) 71, 359-364

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