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 MohanDavid 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.

Motivation

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.