Orchestrating next-generation mobile modular laboratories for pandemic monitoring preparedness

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2025
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Microbial diagnostics
    • Molecular diagnostics
    • Protein diagnostics
    • Health information systems of medical informatics
pandemic preparedness mobile diagnostics
Other information
Project description

Expert opinion from across the world recommends, & calls for, modular laboratory systems to be made available for disease 
monitoring missions. The WHO calls these, “Rapid Response Mobile Laboratories” (RRML). ONELAB will develop modular RRML for 
rapid, flexible, scalable, multi-scenario deployments into the widest range of possible settings. These next-generation facilities will 
support next-generation measurement-technologies/methodologies and, through satellite communications, form wide-area GIS 
enabled laboratory information systems. Thus, simultaneously providing point-of-need disease detection, along with high-level 
situational awareness. 
ONELAB will also develop advanced measurement systems for a staged disease detection response. Exploiting a panel of acute viral 
infection biomarkers enables early detection of disease during its asymptomatic incubation. Using this at the outbreak of disease, 
when much is still undefined, supports effective immediate & targeted public health interventions. Additionally, using proven 
methodologies developed in response to COVID 19, ONELAB will develop & demonstrate a workflow for semi-autonomous disease 
specific biomarker discovery. This application & delivery of agile science enhances the capability & capacity of current disease testing strategies substantially 
RRMLs are only as good as the skilled teams who operate them. So, ONELAB builds world-wide networks & partnerships of 
experienced experts to: define contextually-aligned best practice; develop a consensus-driven concepts of operation; and, 
disseminate this though a pandemic testing playbook. We will develop capability & capacity with training & networking-events that 
continue beyond the project. Finally, community mass-testing requires engagement & acceptance from all citizens, which is why we 
will engage with the public, & produce a citizen’s guide to mass community testing, supported by educational outreach resources.

Role of Ghent University
Ghent University is involved mainly with WP4, which is dedicated on the design, development and delivery of RRMLs, as well as demonstrating through clinical studies biomarker detection of viral infection through analytical measurements at three different stages: rapid triage, diagnostic and prognostic measurements. Key Objectives 1. Development of a data analytics workflow, incorporating advanced multivariate statistical, machine learning, and AI algorithms for analysing high-dimensionality data for recognition of novel biomarkers. 2. Transfer discovery to delivery to achieve bench to bed through a coordinated action involving close collaboration between partners. 3. Develop the proposed highly mobile platforms to enhance clinical capability and capacity through the rapid diagnosis of infection, and for theranostic assessment, for example trial vaccinations and treatments. 4. Refine and automate features such as data acquisition and interpretation and software integration, making the technology simple-to-use (“one button device”) during routine clinical use through intuitive point and click graphical user interfaces. Implementation of the diagnostic panel at the Point of Care (PoC) and rigorous clinical tests to verify successful translation and application.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.