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Mycobacterium tuberculosis Bacterial Load Assessment by F420 Decay Time Measurement

Warren Zipfel of Cornell University in the U.S. will develop a simple, low-cost method to quantify levels of the tuberculosis-causing bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis in different tissues by measuring fluorescence emitted by one of its proteins, F420. To decrease the cost they will use a pulsed laser diode for F420 excitation, and analog electronics to process the fluorescence signal. They will optimize the detection circuitry and optics components, and evaluate its sensitivity and capacity for quantifying the bacteria in sputum and lung tissue. They will also build prototypes of the circuitry coupled to various optical instruments such as a laser-scanning microscope for analyzing extracted samples, and a bronchoscope for inserting into the lungs.

More information about Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas (Round 16)

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.