From idea on paper to paper device
Her idea for a diagnostic tool made of paper is just that at the momentan idea. Funding from Grand Challenges Canada will allow her to develop an electrochemical diagnostic device made of paper and tape. Conductive ink applied to the paper would create an electrode that would allow researchers to detect the presence of targeted bacteria.
Slightly larger than a postage stamp and even cheaper to make at less than 10 cents, the device would be extremely portable, self-contained and sealedmeaning anyone performing the tests would not risk exposure to potentially harmful bacteria, Deiss said. It would also allow testing of non-purified samplesa time- and cost-saving step not possible in some parts of the world, including farms around Nairobi, she added.
Within six months, Deiss hopes to develop a working prototype capable of detecting non-pathogenic bacteria, and by one year a device able to safely detect deadly pathogens such as E. coli. She also plans to work with ILRI and farmers in Nairobi to test the device in the field, comparing results with conventional methods.
In addition to addressing the problem of food safety in developing countries, Deiss said the Stars in Global Health award, her first research grant as principal investigator, provides an important confidence boost early in her career.
"It's more validation as a young researcher that my idea is interesting to other people, to feel that I can actually change something."
|Contact: Bryan Alary|
University of Alberta