Biosensor design for infectious, water-borne agents

EPA Grant Number: SU836137
Title: Biosensor design for infectious, water-borne agents
Investigators: Beitle, Robert
Institution: University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
EPA Project Officer: Sergeant, Anne
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016
Project Amount: $14,943
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2015) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Awards , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Sustainability , P3 Challenge Area - Water

Objective:

Low cost, diagnostic platforms capable of detecting the presence of water borne agents can be developed to operate in a minimalist environment by individuals with a modicum of formal training with the device

Approach:

Our innovation relies on a systems approach to develop a DNA based detection system based on Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP). The chemistry associated with LAMP can greatly simplify the deployment of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) as a diagnostic tool. Despite the fact that LAMP has been in existence for several years, this molecular biochemistry innovation has not been broadly adopted. Designing a LAMP based method for water-borne agent(s) that is capable of operating without electricity or equipment will require a method to deliver the heat required for LAMP and visualization of positive result. These challenges can be overcome through the use of chemical methods of heat generation and judicious choice of reactions to identify a positive result by eye.

Expected Results:

The P3 effort will demonstrate the use of LAMP to detect water borne agents, examine sensitivity limits of our design, and provide the basis for packaging into a small, disposable device capable of self heating and visual identification of a positive result. We also will develop educational tools for deployment in a K-12 environment that demonstrates PCR use for pathogen detection.

Supplemental Keywords:

PCR, LAMP, water borne agents