Die Gewinnerinnen und der Gewinner des Klee-Preises 2022

Im Bild von links nach rechts: Hatice Ceren Ates; Dr. Maria Francisca Porto Cruz; Giorgio Luongo

| Hatice Ceren Ates; Dr. Maria Francisca Porto Cruz; Giorgio Luongo
2022-06-02 press release

Scientist develops biosensor for the fight against antibiotic resistance

Hatice Ceren Ates of the University of Freiburg has been awarded the Klee Prize by VDE DGBMT and the Klee Family Foundation. A multiplex biosensor enables close monitoring of antibiotics and the simple but accurate verification of medication levels in the body. For the first time, the second- and third-place prizewinners also received prize money.

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Hatice Ceren Ates has been awardes Klee-Prize 2022

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(Frankfurt, June 2, 2022) Our antibiotics are currently at risk of losing their potency as antibiotic resistance reaches dangerous levels. Hatice Ceren Ates of the FIT Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies and the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) has invented a device that will make an important contribution to the fight against antibiotic resistance and has been awarded the €5,000 Klee Prize in recognition of this.

Current medical practice aims to keep the concentration of medication in a patient’s blood within a certain therapeutic range. This is a difficult task, since that range varies widely from person to person. “To make the regular measurements required for this both quick and affordable, I developed an electrochemical multiplex biosensor for temporally monitoring antibiotics. It can work simultaneously with various bodily fluids – such as blood, plasma, urine, saliva or respiratory gas samples,” explains Ates, a 30-year-old doctoral student. “In the study, we show that the sensor can even be used to measure the concentration of antibiotics in the breath of mammals, which can then be correlated with the antibiotics level in their blood. That was not possible until now.”

Giving resistant bacteria a taste of their own medicine

The test is also based on a penicillin-binding protein, a natural receptor protein used by resistant bacteria to recognize and fight the antibiotics threatening them. “By using this protein to our advantage, we’re giving the bacteria a taste of their own medicine,” says Ates. Born in Ankara, Ates obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Middle East Technical University (METU) before completing her Master’s degree in Micro and Nanotechnology with Honors. She has been a doctoral candidate at the University of Freiburg since 2019.

For the first time, the second and third place prizewinners also received prize money. €2,000 went to Dr. Maria Francisca Porto Cruz, also from the University of Freiburg. For her dissertation, she developed an implant that can improve the transmission of signals from the brain to a computer. The technology is beneficial in brain-computer interfaces, which could help people who cannot communicate with their voice or gestures. Giorgio Luongo of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) received €1,000. His dissertation presents methods establishing a basis for tailored therapy for atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter using clinical data, simulations and machine learning.

The Klee Family Foundation and the German Society for Biomedical Engineering in the Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (VDE) award the prize to scientists each year for practice-based developments in the field of medical technology.

About the German Society for Biomedical Engineering within VDE (VDE DGBMT)

The German Society for Biomedical Engineering within VDE (VDE DGBMT) is the largest scientific and technical society in the field of medical engineering in Germany. It was founded in Frankfurt am Main in 1961. 

VDE DGBMT networks experts from all areas of technology applications in biology and medicine. With approximately 2,000 members and 23 expert committees, it covers the entire range of topics in biomedical engineering. In addition, it offers conferences and workshops for specialist audiences and is the sponsor of two international scientific journals: Biomedical Engineering and Current Directions in Biomedical Engineering published by Walter de Gruyter. The DGBMT also awards prizes for young scientists, for scientific excellence and innovation, and for patient safety in biomedical engineering. Last but not least, it represents German biomedical technologies in international committees. 

For more information, visit www.vde.com/dgbmt 

About VDE

VDE, one of the largest technology organizations in Europe, has been regarded as a synonym for innovation and technological progress for more than 125 years. VDE is the only organization in the world that combines science, standardization, testing, certification, and application consulting under one umbrella. The VDE mark has been synonymous with the highest safety standards and consumer protection for more than 100 years.

Our passion is the advancement of technology, the next generation of engineers and technologists, and lifelong learning and career development “on the job”. Within the VDE network more than 2,000 employees at over 60 locations worldwide, more than 100,000 honorary experts, and around 1,500 companies are dedicated to ensuring a future worth living: networked, digital, electrical.
Shaping the e-dialistic future.
The VDE (VDE Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies) is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main. For more information, visit www.vde.com