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Global Health

Balancing Accessibility

The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, infectious disease will result in 13 million deaths worldwide. Rapid diagnostics play a vital role in the continuum of clinical care from diagnosis to determination of appropriate therapy (especially with increased antibiotic resistance) to monitoring of response to a therapy. Beyond this, rapid diagnoses are crucial in discovering new pathogens. The importance of continuous disease surveillance in the U.S. and globally is illustrated by the recent Ebola outbreak and ongoing Zika outbreak. Whether caring for patients or responding to a worldwide pandemic, rapid and accurate diagnostics are critical to public health.

Today's rapid diagnostic techniques encounter unique challenges in their utilization, despite having advanced the field of infectious disease diagnosis. Modern techniques, such as PCR and FACS, can reduce the detection time to one hour. However, they are costly, require complex sample preparation, and have limited portability. A major challenge in remote areas and field situations is that sample collection is separated from diagnostic testing, requiring sample preservation. Refrigeration, the standard preservation technique, is cumbersome, expensive, and impractical for transport from the field to the testing site.

As such, the new generation of rapid tests will need to provide highly sensitive and specific results, while relying on heat-stable reagents and minimal technical skills. In addition, these tests will need to accommodate minimal sample volumes and a broad range of clinical samples, all this while being cost-effective and portable. Fluid-Screen technology meets all these criteria. 

Fluid-Screen provides a compact, rapid, sensitive, and effective method to concentrate and stabilize particles from fluid matrices. Current results demonstrate that tests take under 30 minutes (as opposed to days) with a sensitivity of just one bacterium. Whether alive or dead, the type of bacterium is detected with a 99%+ accuracy rate.

To date we have successfully concentrated and captured laboratory-standard E. coliE. faecalisB. subtilis, and A. kwangyangense. These bacteria represent a range of sizes, with A. kwangyangense the smallest at 0.6 – 2.0 μm and B. subtilis the largest at 4-10 μm. For more information on our unique technology, contact us.