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1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

The UCL deployable laboratory easily obtains certification from the European Commission.

In the event of a major epidemic, the B-LiFE ( Biological Light Laboratory for Emergencies ) laboratory , specialized in the rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases, is able to deploy on the front line, anywhere in the world. Belgian experts from UCL and B-FAST (Belgian First Aid and Support Team) have just proved it. Under the critical eye of three European certifiers, they participated in a field exercise in Sweden with four other countries. "The goal was to demonstrate our ability to deploy independently and effectively assist other medical modules," says Professor Jean-Luc Gala, director of the Center for Applied Molecular Technologies (CTMA) at UCL. B-LiFE had already proven itself in Guinea in 2015 during the Ebola epidemic. During this international exercise and thanks to the logistical assistance of B-FAST, he confirmed his full operational autonomy. “The Belgians' mission was to support the Italian surgical field hospital. The German mobile lab was helping the Spanish hospital, but we were cooperating with each other, ” says Jean-Luc Gala. "We had to respond as quickly as possible to a continuous demand for biological analyzes . " The scenario foresaw, among other things, infectious complications due to contamination of the water by cholera or norovirus.

High technology

To fulfill its role, the Belgian team used original and innovative techniques. “We used two types of drones. One to transmit the biological samples between the two labs and the other to establish a precise map of the crisis zone. The device was capable of recording high quality images and merging them with those obtained by satellite. State-of-the-art technology! " . B-LiFE is the only European mobile laboratory to have satellite transmission thanks to the collaboration of the European Space Agency. “Our team has really performed very well. Having passed under the caudine forks of international assessors sent by the European Commission is an excellent business card for us! ", concludes the expert with pride.