European Inventor Award 2021, finalist the Italian Marco Donolato

The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced that Italian engineer Marco Donolato will be one of the finalists in the “Research” category of the European Inventor Award 2021. To convince the organizers of the recognition, the test device that detects infectious diseases in a short time, thanks to a modified Blue-Ray optical pick-up.

How the kit works

The test kit is inexpensive but fast and accurate and, above all, does not require excessive training of medical personnel. All crucial factors for diagnosis and treatment in developing countries. Marketed through a Copenhagen-based SME, which Donolato co-founded in 2014 with Milanese engineer Filippo Bosco, the device uses Immuno-Magnetic Assay (IMA) technology in which a laser beam passes through a blood sample stored in a cartridge and mixed with magnetic nanoparticles. By observing the clustering dynamics of nanoparticles through an optical reader, similar to that found in a standard Blu-ray player, the device identifies the presence of a biological target such as antigens or antibodies from a virus.

The use against Covid-19

The new frontier of testing has recently been developed. Using IMA technology, the company also recently tested a rapid test to detect COVID-19 antibodies that produces lab results in just 5-7 minutes. The test will be launched in the next few days and will allow to test the number of antibodies at a given time and not just the positivity to the disease, which is already being tested at the moment in some Italian hospitals.

Who is Marco Donolato

Milanese, born in 1983, studied at the Liceo Scientifico Volta and graduated in Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano, followed by a master’s in engineering physics, Donolato completed a PhD in micro and nanotechnologies at the Politecnico di Milano and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), under the Erasmus program. Donolato spent a year (2012) at CIC nanoGUNE in Spain, as a research and development scientist, before returning to Copenhagen as a postdoctoral researcher at DTU Nanotech – a micro and nanotechnology research institute (2012-2014). In 2013 he spent some time at the Sinica Academy of Taiwan as a visiting researcher and in 2014 he was invited researcher at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience in Brisbane, Australia. In 2014, together with Filippo Bosco he co-founded BluSense Diagnostics in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The contenders

Donolato will compete for the prize, in the “Research” category, to the Austro / Swiss duo formed by Robert Grass and Wendelin Stark (inventors of an error-proof data storage method that encapsulates DNA strands in tiny spheres of silica) and to French Mathias Fink and Mickael Tanter (who invented a new method of medical imaging through non-invasive ultrasound that allows doctors to spare patients painful biopsies).