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- January 1, 2008 - December 31, 2008
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has academic priority
has USDA Area
impact statement impact
- No biosensor has been commercialized yet, but four patents are published and five are pending. Also, beta-side testing is planned for C. parvum in New York state water treatment plants. Similarly, the biosensor for CD4+ T-lymphocyte has been chosen for further development in association with the Gates Foundation. If successful, it will be applied in developing countries and will allow rapid diagnosis, which is a first step to initiating antiretroviral treatment and thus treatment of AIDS. The biosensors will change the speed with which water treatment plants, nursing stations, and our society in general can respond to threats, to unsafe food and water, and to medical problems. More than 51 undergraduate students have been trained so far in independent research.
impact statement issue
- Pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium parvum continue to cause a threat to our food and water safety. Similarly, organisms such as Dengue virus and Norwalk virus are important clinical analytes related to human health, especially in the countries of the developing world. Organisms such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis are serious threat agents for our safety and security, since they can be used as bioweapon material. The research is aimed toward the development of miniaturized portable biosensor systems that can detect these pathogens rapidly and inexpensively. They will allow the immediate detection of these pathogens in the field, and will allow a very rapid response by first-aid providers, consumers, manufacturers, etc., in contrast to current technology that often requires days to weeks to provide results. No commercial systems are currently available with the same criteria of specificity, sensitivity, speed, ease of use, and low costs.
impact statement response
- Biosensors and microanalytical systems for pathogens such as E. coli, C. parvum, Dengue virus, B. anthracis, etc. have been developed. These biosensors address problems related to specificity, speed of analysis, sensitivity and cost. A molecular biological approach for the recognition of pathogens is combined with engineering of microchannel systems in order to provide these bioanalytical microsystems. More specifically, genomic information from the organisms is used in order to design a highly specific detection approach, since the genome of each organism is unique. The microchannel systems are fabricated in the Cornell Nanofabrication Facility and allow the development of truly portable biosensors. A very good example is the C. parvum biosensor. It can detect even a single oocyst in only four hours. Current technology requires about seven days of detection time, since water treatment plants have to send their samples to a testing lab and have to pay about $400 per analysis (in comparison to an estimated $25 per analysis with the biosensor if carried out in-house of the water treatment plant). Current work also focuses on the development of HIV-related diagnostics for application in the developing world. CD4+ T-lymphocyte biosensors are being designed and investigated for use in resource-limited countries and in the battle against AIDS. This has become an important part of our research during 2007.
impact statement summary
- Pathogenic organisms such as Escherichia coli and Cryptosporidium parvum continue to cause a threat to our food and water safety. Similarly, organisms such as Dengue virus and rotavirus are important clinical analytes related to human health, especially in the countries of the developing world. Organisms such as Bacillus anthracis and Yersinia pestis are serious threat agents for our safety and security, since they can be used as bioweapon material. The ability to rapidly detect the level of CD4+ T-lymphocytes in blood drawn by finger prick is important in HIV-related diagnostics and for antiretroviral treatment, especially in the developing world. This research is aimed toward the development of miniaturized portable biosensor systems that can detect these pathogens and analytes rapidly and inexpensively.
Other federal funding
- National Institutes of Health
- National Science Foundation
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
Other private funding
- Gates Foundation, Private Industry
- CD4 Initiative, Imperial College; UK Partner (CD4 Initiative, Imperial College)
- Durst, Richard Researcher
- Edwards, Katie Anne Researcher
- Erickson, David Researcher
- Frey, Margaret Researcher
- Innovative Biotechnologies, International; NY Partner (Innovative Biotechnologies, International)
- Kirby, Brian Researcher
- Leonard, Barbara Researcher
- Meyers, katherine Researcher
- Montagna, Richard Researcher
- Both Basic Research and Applied Research
- Baeumner, Antje J Cornell Faculty Member