The challenge

The corona crisis caught the world off guard. Millions of people got infected and the Covid-19 pandemic has a very large impact on society. 

Respiratory viruses (such as corona) are able to cause pandemics because these viruses constantly change and can easily spread through the air. 

We are presently in the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts think that the next viral pandemic may well be caused by the Influenza A virus. That’s why SensUs 2021 focuses on Influenza A.

In a pandemic, it is of critical importance to know whether someone is healthy or diseased. So rapid testing is essential and it should be as easy as possible. That’s why SensUs 2021 focuses on performing measurements in saliva. Because saliva is a body fluid that can very easily be taken, at home, in a public environment, or in a healthcare setting.

Measuring the influenza virus in saliva, that’s the focus of SensUs 2021!


This page explains more about Influenza and the SensUs Contest of 2021



Influenza is an infectious respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. The most common symptoms are fever, runny nose, sore throat, headache, coughing, and fatigue. The incubation time of influenza is 1-5 days and the symptoms usually last one to two weeks. The most important complications are secondary bacterial infections, acute bronchitis, and primary viral pneumonia.


The most well-known influenza pandemic is the Spanish Flu of 1918. It was the most severe with an estimated death count of 50-100 million people worldwide. After that, the H2N2 Asian flu (1957) and the H3N2 Hong Kong flu (1968) accounted for at least one million deaths. The 2009 flu pandemic is the most recent influenza pandemic, causing nearly 300,000 deaths.


Theme 2021

The goal

SensUs 2021 challenges students from all over the globe to form a student team and start developing innovative biosensing systems for detecting an acute respiratory infection by measuring influenza A in saliva.

SensUs 2021 Event

The final contest

The contest will take place on the 3rd of September, 2021. All participating Teams will demonstrate their biosensors and their entrepreneurial ideas to the world! 

Testing event