girl Itching her arm

InstaPatch: Instantaneous Allergy Testing in the Skin


Allergy is one of the world’s most common chronic conditions and caused by immunoreaction of the human body towards in principle harmless allergens. An increasing number of people is diagnosed as allergic towards insect stings, pollen, dust, animal dander, food or drugs [1]. The state of the art method for allergy screening and monitoring is the skin prick test (SPT) where different allergens are introduced into the skin of the tested person. The evaluation of the SPT requires an experienced health care professional assessing visible changes of the skin due to local inflammation. This method is non quantitative, a relative low number of tests can be performed and patients might experience unpleasant reactions. 

Project objectives

In this PhD project, a novel miniaturized device - the InstaPatch - for instantaneous and quantitative monitoring of allergic reactions in the skin will be developed. The overall aim of the project is to develop a fast, less invasive and more accurate allergy test addressing some of the limitations of the SPT. The project is based on close collaboration between DTU Nanotech, the Allergy Clinic at Gentofte Hospital, DTU Food, Cardiff University as well as Malmö University. 


  1. Pawankar, R. et al. Allergic diseases and asthma: a global public health concern and a call to action. World Allergy Organ. J. 7, 12 (2014).
  2. Bodtger, U., Jacobsen, C. R., Poulsen, L. K. & Malling, H. J. Long-term repeatability of the skin prick test is high when supported by history or allergen-sensitivity tests: A prospective clinical study. Allergy Eur. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 58, 1180-1186 (2003).
  3. Heinzerling, L. et al. The skin prick test – European standards. Clin. Transl. Allergy 3, 3 (2013).
  4. Paliwal, S., Hwang, B. H., Tsai, K. Y. & Mitragotri, S. Diagnostic opportunities based on skin biomarkers. Eur. J. Pharm. Sci. 50, 546-556 (2013).


Sheida Esmail Tehrani
PhD student
DTU Nanolab


Stephan Sylvest Keller
DTU Nanolab
+45 45 25 58 46