Navigation Links
Professors to develop hand-held pathogen testing device

Testing for deadly food, air and water pathogens may get a lot easier and cheaper thanks to the work of a Michigan State University researcher and his team.

Syed Hashsham, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Center for Microbial Ecology, is developing a portable, hand-held device capable of detecting up to 50 microbial threat agents in air, water and food.

"This device will give us the ability to measure pathogens in a manner and at a price that really matters for human health," Hashsham said. "If we can screen for all pathogens together, we can minimize the threat significantly."

Hashsham intends for the portable, hand-held device to be an all-in-one pathogen testing center where DNA amplification and pathogen identification will happen on the same DNA biochip. A DNA biochip has signature pieces of DNA attached to a silica surface, similar to a computer chip, and is about the size of a thumbnail.

Today, testing air, water or food for pathogens like cholera and dysentery must be done one pathogen at a time. Testing for each pathogen on an individual basis is dangerous, more expensive and time consuming. Simultaneous testing simplifies the process, making it safer and more cost effective.

Earlier this year, Hashsham was awarded $966,608 from the 21st Century Jobs Fund to develop and commercialize the device.

Hashsham, James Tiedje, University Distinguished Professor of crop and soil sciences and director of the Center for Microbial Ecology, and Erdogan Gulari, professor at the University of Michigan's Department of Chemical Engineering, formed a cross-disciplinary team to develop this technology.

The procedure begins with sample processing that extracts DNA from all microorganisms present in the sample. The DNA can then be introduced into the device where it will undergo polymerase chain reaction for the selected harmful pathogens. Polymerase chai n reaction is a process that takes a small amount of DNA and makes billions of copies so the pathogens can be easily detected, Hashsham explained.

Most of the genetic material in any bacteria isn't harmful. For instance, the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, responsible for the waterborne illness cholera, has many housekeeping genes that maintain the organism, but are not dangerous to humans by themselves. But the gene producing the cholera toxin is harmful. These genes serve as good markers for detection. Hashsham's device will be designed to look for such marker genes.

"This technology is rugged and highly parallel; it can analyze lots of marker genes in a lot of samples, together with significantly lower false positives," Hashsham said.

He said the hand-held testing device could be used anywhere that cost-effective testing of food, water or air is needed for a number of pathogens.

"Because of the lower cost, there also will be applications in countries where fewer resources are available for drinking water safety," Hashsham said.

Looking toward the future, Hashsham has been in touch with several organizations that might be interested in the device. AquaBioChip LLC, a Lansing-based company formed by the same team through a previous grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will test the device under field conditions.

He has a team of six graduate students and technicians working on this device. "They are the heart of the project as well as the scientists being trained for the future," Hashsham said. That number of employees is likely to increase when the device gets to the commercialization stage.


'"/>

Source:Michigan State University


Related biology news :

1. A much-needed shot in the arm for HIV vaccine development
2. Clam embryo study shows pollutant mixture adversely affects nerve cell development
3. Weizmann Institute scientists develop a new approach for directing treatment to metastasized prostate cancer in the bones.
4. Scientists develop new color-coded test for protein folding
5. Zebrafish may hold key to understanding human nerve cell development
6. First real-time view of developing neurons reveals surprises, say Stanford researchers
7. Scientists identify new model Of NK cell development
8. Influenza vaccine uses insect cells to speed development
9. Carnegie Mellon scientists develop tool that uses MRI to visualize gene expression in living animals
10. PCRM develops worlds first cruelty-free insulin assay
11. Chemists identify key gene in development of type 1 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:2/3/2016)... , Feb. 3, 2016 ... addition of the "Emotion Detection and ... Learning, and Others), Software Tools (Facial Expression, ... End Users,and Regions - Global forecast to ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/d8zjcd/emotion_detection ) has announced ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology ... service presents an analysis of the digital and computed ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... current trends and market size, as well as regional ... by country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, ...
(Date:2/1/2016)...  Today, the first day of American Heart Month, ... a first of its kind workplace health solution that ... the first application of Watson ... and Welltok will create a new offering that combines ... delivered on Welltok,s health optimization platform. The effort is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/8/2016)... 8, 2016  BioElectronics Corporation (OTC Pink: BIEL), ... today that it is responding to a notice ... Securities and Exchange Commission posted on the agency ... of the Board of BioElectronics Corporation and the ... at The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University.   ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Conn. , Feb. 8, 2016  NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... its CEO, Eugene Seymour , MD, MPH, will present information ... at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City ... will be in the Windsor Room at 5:30PM EST. Registered attendees ... New York City . --> ...
(Date:2/6/2016)... ... 06, 2016 , ... The Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) will sponsor ... on Wednesday February 10, 2016. This Bite of Science session, hosted by the ... at 1500 Remount Road in Front Royal, VA from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... DIEGO , Feb. 5, 2016 On ... region,s trusted information source for community, health and disaster ... Diego) will integrate to enhance care coordination and ... to the services they need and to better connect ... improve care.   San Diego ...
Breaking Biology Technology: