“The unique fusion of individual innovative technologies will provide a novel diagnostic tool leading to a better understanding of the underlying pathophysiology of rare anaemia.”

Lars Kaestner, Coordinator of CoMMiTMenT

Fact sheet



Full Title

Combined Molecular Microscopy for Therapy and Personalized Medication in Rare Anaemias Treatments


Development of imaging technologies for therapeutic interventions in rare diseases

Contract Number



The aim of CoMMiTMenT is the development of combined imaging technologies based on optofluidic microscopy and scanning ion conductance microscopy. An integrated, completely simultaneous device named μCOSMOS will be used as a proof-of-principle for therapeutic interventions in rare anaemias. Both techniques rely on molecular detection: optofluidic microscopy relies on molecular biomarkers, and scanning ion conductance microscopy on functional imaging of molecular structures. μCOSMOS allows for the exploration, diagnosis and development of therapeutic interventions for several rare anaemias, including hereditary xerocytosis, overhydrated hereditary stomatocytosis, familial pseudohyperkaliemia, cryohydrocytosis, certain types of spherocytosis, hereditary spherocytosis, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia and phosphofructokinase deficiency. The non-invasive nature of the combined imaging technologies, which probe the function of molecular effectors, facilitates the testing of medications and their dosage in a personalised manner. For some of the rare anaemias, CoMMiTMenT will provide an initial proof-of-principle, whereas for others, such as sickle cell anaemia, personalised medical interventions should become available and will be tested in clinical practice within the project.

CoMMiTMenT will ensure an effective therapy with diminished undesirable adverse effects, largely replacing splenectomy.

CoMMiTMenT includes clinical partners and builds a strong relationship with the European Network for Rare and Congenital Anaemias (ENERCA). Furthermore, CoMMiTMenT acts as a bridge between the technology-driven SMEs and ENERCA and, as such, supports the competitiveness of Europe in this area. The applications will advance (personalised) treatment of rare anaemias and, therefore, contribute to the goal of the International Rare Diseases Research Consortium (IRDiRC) to deliver novel diagnostic modalities and 200 new therapies for rare diseases by 2020.


60 months (01/10/2013 – 30/09/2018)

Project Funding

€ 5,999,982.25


Universität des Saarlandes (USAAR)
Dr Lars Kaestner
Phone: +49 6841 1626149

  • Universität des Saarlandes, Germany (Lars Kaestner)
  • Universität Zürich, Switzerland (Anna Bogdanova)
  • Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, Netherlands (Richard van Wijk)
  • OptoRobotix Aps, Denmark (Andrew Rafael Bañas)
  • OpenIOLabs Limited, United Kingdom (Ward Hills)
  • Arivis AG, Germany (Christian Götze)
  • Consorci Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August PI I Sunyer, Spain (Joan Lluis Vives Corrons)
  • Epigem Limited, United Kingdom  (Timothy Ryan)
  • European Research and Project Office GmbH, Germany (Vera Schneider)