Since 2011, Diafir (Rennes) has been developing an infrared light sensor that can detect certain diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also known as soda disease, a liver disease that is spreading around the world due to junk food and obesity health problems: 20 to 25% of the population is at risk, in the USA it is the 2nd largest cause of liver transplantation. So far, the diagnosis of this disease has been conducted by biopsy. Biopsy of the liver is painful and can lead to hospitalisation, which is expensive. The diagnosis is therefore not often practiced.

To remedy this, Diafir has developed sensors to analyse serum taken from a patient (blood without blood cells and platelets) to tell if the person has NAFLD. Diafir products (disposable sensors, machines and software) are being tested in four hospitals in France (Brest, Bordeaux, Rennes and Nice). Practitioners point out how easy it is to use the machine and how quick it is to carry out the diagnosis.

Today, production is still in its infancy with 10 machines and 3000 sensors per year and is conducted internally. However, subcontracting is not excluded in order to produce optics at low cost since the sensors are disposable. The goal is to offer hospitals a test for less than 35 euros. Diafir is scheduled to launch large-scale clinical trials by the autumn and finalise a fundraising drive to enter the French and European markets.

The Breton company also participates in research projects in partnership with public research. For example, it has developed a new tool for in-situ monitoring of rinsing water that can detect traces of biocides in 30 minutes, even in low concentration, on food production lines. This technology was developed on the basis of its infrared spectroscopy biological analysis platform, as part of the Delbia project (online detection of biocide for the food industry), certified by Valorial.

Crédit photo Diagnostic et screening rapide. Le spectromètre infrarouge Spid dispose d’un capteur à languette breveté. Le chargement de l’échantillon se fait par simple pipetage dans le puits du capteur. L’échantillon est ensuite mis en contact avec la fibre par simple pression sur la languette.


Sources : Ouest France Entreprises – 06/09/2017, Lettre API – 19/03/2018