Abstract & Biography | Prof. Dr. Ir. Bart Keijser

Novel approaches for efficient diagnostics using loop mediated isothermal amplification
Prof. Dr. Ir. Bart Keijser

Molecular diagnostics enables sensitive and specific detection of pathogens in patient as well as environmental samples. Target-specific DNA amplification is a key step in molecular diagnostics. Since its invention in the 1990’s, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has been the method of choice. Central in PCR is a thermal cycling procedure, driving the various stages of the DNA amplification reaction. In contrast, isothermal amplification methods have no need for thermal cycling thus allowing simplified workflows. Loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a promising amplification method diagnostics. It uses a unique design of 4-6 synthetic primers to ensure the formation of a dumbbell-like DNA structure. This DNA structure can self-initiate its duplication and gives rise to rapid and efficient amplification of target DNA. The LAMP amplification technique has been combined with different read out strategies for real-time, digital and multiplex detection as well as instrument-free visual detection. LAMP enables detection of molecular targets within 15-30 minutes, much faster PCR while maintaining sensitivity. This notion has been used in the development of a LAMP based diagnostic workflow for SARS Cov-2 as well as other pathogens, for both point of care as for high-end molecular diagnostic purposes.

Bart Keijser is Principal Scientist working within the Microbiology and Systems Biology team of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO). His main field of expertise is oral and respiratory health and the role of our microbiome. In 2015 he was appointed as extraordinary professor Oral Systems Biology at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA). Bart has led multiple industrial consortia in innovation projects on novel strategies for the prevention of oral and respiratory diseased based on microbiota modulation. Bart is trained as a molecular microbiologist at Wageningen University (NL). He obtained his PhD at the Leiden University (NL) and held two post-doctoral position in the field of applied microbiology at the Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam. In 2005, he joined the TNO Microbiology and Systems Biology group of the Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) in 2005.
Together with colleagues of the TNO Microbiology and Systems Biology team, Bart established a novel diagnostic tools for SARS CoV-2, which was implemented in the Netherlands.