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Low-cost disposable point-of-care bioanalytical devices based on porous materials for detection of pathogens
September 8, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
This special event is a Biomedical Engineering Seminar.
There is a clear need for low-cost rapid diagnostic devices capable of identifying the cause of infectious disease that are appropriate for use in low resource settings. The Yager lab has been engaged in a 20-year pursuit of microfluidics-based tools and complete systems for pathogen identification in human samples, most recently in inexpensive instrument-free disposable format that could be used by consumers in their homes and by healthcare workers in low-resource settings in the developing world. The technology underlying all current work is based on what we call “two-dimensional paper network” that utilize the capillarity of poorer materials to move fluids without external pumps. There is also a strong preference for optical detection of assay results to allow coupling to the internet through the ubiquitous cellular phone network. There have been 3 analytical approaches of late: Identification and quantification of 1) antibodies specific to pathogens, 2) proteins of the pathogens, and 3) nucleic acid sequences derived from the pathogens. We report on recent results on particularly simple paper-based systems supported by NIH (sensitive detection of influenza viral proteins; improvement of specificity of Zika virus serology), DARPA (detection of DNA and RNA from bacterial and viral pathogens using isothermal amplification) and DTRA (detection of proteins from the Ebola virus). In all cases the endpoint of the research projects has been a prototype of a practical instrument-free instrument that performs a rapid point-of-care test.