He adds that, "We had been developing the H5N1 detection kits and thus accumulated technical knowledge like primers and cycling conditions for the PCR assay. We are very pleased to see that these techniques were an advantage in improving the development of the new platform."
GIS co-author, Dr Lisa Ng, who was a co-inventor in another Avian Flu (H5N1) detection kit using GIS' proprietary nucleic acid diagnostic primers, played a role in the initial designs of the PCR and Primers assays in this project.
"We have a long journey ahead of us in our battle against infectious diseases, and the current avian influenza outbreaks caused by influenza A (H5N1) underscore the importance of improving our preparedness for the next emerging or re-emerging infectious agent." said Dr Ng.
Asked about the collaborations with other institutes, Professor Jackie Ying, Executive Director of IBN affirmed that "IBN is delighted that Dr Juergen Pipper has initiated this multidisciplinary collaboration with our A*STAR sister institutes at the Biopolis. We are also pleased that two of our Youth Research Program attachment students have made substantial contribution to this project and are co-authors to this publication."
The unique lap-on-a-chip system developed by IBN can also be adapted for other infectious diseases such as SARS, HIV and hepatitis B, by extracting nucleic acids from other body fluids such as blood, urine or saliva.
"An increasing number of magnetic particle-based biochemical kits are commercially available to process cells, RNA, DNA and proteins. We envision that our droplet-based system will be an attractive diagnostic platform, especially for decentralized environmental, biological or medical testing," said Dr Pipper.
|Contact: Cathy Yarbrough|
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore