The challenge

SensUs 2020 challenged student teams to develop innovative biosensing systems for the measurement of unbound valproate, a biological drug that is prescribed to patients suffering from epilepsy. Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects people of all ages. Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally. It is estimated that up to 70% of people living with epilepsy could live seizure- free if properly diagnosed and treated. Source: WHO

This page explains more about epilepsy, unbound valproate and the SensUs Contest of 2020

What is epilepsy?

The beginning

Epilepsy is a chronic noncommunicable disease of the brain that affects around 50 million people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized) and are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function.

Seizure episodes are a result of excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells. Different parts of the brain can be the site of such discharges. Seizures can vary from the briefest lapses of attention or muscle jerks to severe and prolonged convulsions. Seizures can also vary in frequency, from less than 1 per year to several per day.

Source: WHO

Theme 2020
Preventing seizures

The goal

The biomarker for SensUs 2020 is unbound valproate which is an anti-epileptic. Therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) is a pragmatic approach for the treatment of epilepsy. TDM can be used to optimize the dose of medication based on the concentration found in blood samples. This means that patients have more insight in the efficiacy of their medicine.

Read more about unbound valproate on our Wiki

SensUs 2020 Event

The final contest

The contest has taken place on the 28th of August. All participating Teams have joined our first online Event, in order to demonstrate their biosensors and their entrepreneurial ideas to the world! It has been an exciting contest between teams of 17 universities from all over the world. Thank you all for joining!

Testing event