Katherine Klapperich of Boston University in the U.S. will develop a simple device that prepares and stores nucleic acid molecules from the blood for diagnostic testing without the need for a cold chain. Current costs for tests such as those to detect HIV are high, due largely to the need to keep the samples cold during transport to district laboratories. Removing the cold chain would also enable samples to be taken at more widespread locations and transported in batches to further reduce transport costs. They will develop a flexible, layered plastic and paper fluidic card that uses a specialized lysis buffer to extract the nucleic acids from small volumes of blood that are then cleaned and dried on a membrane for transport. The nucleic acids can be easily extracted from the membranes, reducing processing costs in the laboratory, and the flexibility of the materials means that they can be processed as reels to reduce manufacturing costs. They will test the cards using blood spiked with HIV and assess the heat stability of the samples.
More information about Innovations for Integrated Diagnostics Systems (Round 19)