Brown University School of Engineering

Biomedical Engineering Seminar: Towards Minimally Instrumented Molecular Diagnostics

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Thursday, September 19, 2013 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Professor Catherine Klapperich, Boston University Many new and exciting portable molecular testing technologies are emerging for application in both personalized and global medicine. The potential to provide fast, isothermal, and quantitative molecular diagnostic information to clinicians in the field and at the bedside will soon be a reality. What many of these technologies lack is a robust front end for sample clean up and nucleic acid preparation. Such a technology would enable many different downstream molecular assays. The Klapperich Laboratory for Diagnostics and Global Healthcare Technologies is focused on the design and engineering of manufacturable, disposable systems for low-cost point-of-care molecular diagnostics. We have invented technologies to perform microfluidic sample preparation for bacterial and viral targets from several human body fluids including, urine, blood, stool and nasowash. These technologies include nucleic acid extraction, protein extraction, microorganism enrichment and/or concentration and small-scale dialysis. We are currently working on devices for the detection and quantification of HIV, hemorrhagic fevers, infectious diarrheas, influenza, MRSA and cancer biomarkers. Projects include detection by PCR, isothermal amplification, and novel optical techniques. Our main application area is global health. We consider assay development, device design, sample flow, storage and transport all opportunities to drive down the cost and increase the accessibility of molecular tests in the developing world.