Chlamydia/Gonorrhea Detection via Microfluidic Device
For the Fall of 2018, I enrolled in BioE 121L: BioMems and Biotechnology with Dr. Luke Lee. The curriculum of the class was project based that required students to design and fabricate a microfluidic device with a proposed functionality. My partners Mehek Mohan, David Mai, Justin Olshavsky, and I came up with a novel design of a microfluidic device to test for STDs. For research purposes, we implemented a dual-track design that used antibody and DNA detection.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that each year, 20 million new STI incidences will be reported in America, costing an annual $16 billion in diagnostic services and treatment. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the most common sexually communicable disease in US with upwards of 70% of the affected population suffering asymptomatically. Undiagnosed Chlamydia and Gonorrhea can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and pelvic inflammatory disease. Currently, there are no real-time, cost-effective, point-of-care and non-invasive diagnostic solutions in the space. Clean Slate utilizes microfluidic technologies to quickly process urine samples and deliver accurate results inexpensively, thereby tackling an ever-spreading public health epidemic.
By offering a patient-centric alternative for testing, Clean Slate can scale the production of the devices to increase accessibility of testing to high school and college students and low-income populations. This has the potential for high-impact in early detection to mitigate the spread. While this device can be used at the point-of-care, doctors can also use these tests for real-time on-site diagnosis that encourages testing before treatment, thereby reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.
A more detailed presentation was given in class describing the fabrication process, flowrate testing, and diagnostic design; however, we are still in the process of developing and publishing the technology. Attached is the slide deck to give a high-level overview of the basics of our device.