Innovative Tuberculosis (TB) Sputum Collection Container
Chris de Villiers of Sinapi Biomedical in South Africa will produce an improved sample container that ensures sputum samples are of sufficient quantity and quality to diagnose tuberculosis (TB). South Africa has one of the highest burdens of TB, and has implemented a rapid testing program that diagnoses the disease from sputum. However, over 8% (around 218,000) of sputum samples cannot be tested, largely due to insufficient volumes or leaky sample containers. This causes additional costs and leaves many sufferers undiagnosed. In collaboration with clinical, academic, and commercial partners in South Africa and the U.S, they used an iterative design process to develop a new container. They will finalize this design by testing different versions in the laboratory and clinic, and producing two prototypes along with an instruction manual and other training materials. In collaboration with their clinical partner, they will also produce a protocol ready for a large-scale clinical trial that will evaluate the reliability of sputum collection with their new container and collect user feedback.