Integrated nucleic acid microsensor for on-site detection of infectious animal diseases

Year of award: 2017


  • Dr Firat Guder

    Imperial College London

Project summary

Despite the advancement of diagnostic technologies targeting nucleic acids (NA), there are no portable, disposable and integrated solutions for testing infectious diseases at the point of care (PoC). This is unfortunately the case for all infectious diseases affecting animals, humans and even plants.

We will develop a new class of NA microsensor called silicon-paper integrated diagnostics or SPiDx. This new technology will combine the versatility of paper-based microfluidics and performance of silicon microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) on the same platform for the first time. SPiDx will be capable of integrated thermal amplification and electrochemical detection of NA at the PoC, while supporting multiplexed analysis. The entire SPiDx platform will be produced outside the clean room which will dramatically reduce production costs.

We will focus on paratuberculosis, a fatal, chronic wasting disease affecting ruminant animals with significant economic consequences. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), the causative agent responsible for paratuberculosis may also be associated with Crohn’s disease in humans. We hope to develop a portable solution for testing these diseases at the point of care.