Paper Analytical Device Project

Funded by: USAIDCountry: KenyaDate Range: 2014-2017Project Lead: College of ScienceNotre Dame Collaborators: Advanced Diagnostics & Therapeutics, Eck Institute for Global Health, Pulte InstituteContact: Michael Sweikar

University of Notre Dame faculty developed new technological tools to monitor and screen pharmaceuticals in Kenya. Monitoring and detecting counterfeit drugs is a profound problem in the developing world, with governments, NGOs, and individuals unable to install and maintain expensive technology for environmental monitoring. Notre Dame faculty designed genetically engineered yeast-based biosensors for environmental monitoring to address this issue, including (1) A set of remote, continuous pollution "alarms" that will consist of a small continuous culture system that will house the yeast, expose them to water to be tested, and test them for contaminant detection; (2) The development of Paper Analytical Devices (PADs) to provide counterfeit drug detection and other analytical tasks in technology-limited or even austere environments. Image analysis software evaluates the test outcome for the user and builds a spatial and temporal database of the test results; and (3) An Olfactory device that will produce an easily recognizable smell in response to a specific contaminant, which will be useful in detecting a range of potential contaminants.

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