ESR Project 4

This PhD student will continue the collection of fecal samples from 9 NICUs in The Netherlands. Furthermore, he/she will perform measurements of fecal Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), originating from (patho)physiological metabolic processes in the human body. Fecal VOCs can be measured by electronic nose (eNose) devices, deploying pattern recognition algorithms for the discrimination of VOC combinations. The VOC pool harbours a magnificent source of information with the potential to serve as noninvasive diagnostic biomarkers and as markers of disease activity, discriminating medical from surgical NEC. In addition, VOC analysis may increase understanding of pathophysiological metabolic pathways underlying neonatal sepsis and NEC, possibly leading to new therapeutic strategies. Next, these fecal samples will be used to establish molecular microbiota analyses using IS-pro technique for microbiota detection. Both VOC and microbiota analyses are available at VUMC.


- Reckitt Benckiser

- University of Warwick (Dept. of Electronic Engineering)

- TNO, Microbiology & Systems Biology (Zeist, The Netherlands)

Host Institution

VU Medical Center


  • Dr T. de Meij (Dept. of Paediatrics)
  • Dr N. de Boer (Dept. of Gastroenterology)