MDDI_Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry

MDDI, July 2016

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MD + DI MEDICAL DEVICE AND DIAGNOSTIC INDUSTRY JULY 2016 | 31 Image courtesy of WYSS INSTITUTe AT HArvArD UNIverSITY A Practical and Cost-effective Zika Test FDA may have granted emergency use authorizations for Zika tests, but these tests must still go to laboratories meeting specific qualifications. Existing tests, which search for pieces of the viral genome in serum from human blood, can also take up to a week to produce lab results. What if there could be a practical and cost effective Zika diagnos- tic tool for widespread use? That's what researchers at MIT, Harvard University, and other re- search institutions are working on. Led by MIT professor James Col- lins, the team has developed a new diagnostic test consisting of a black cartridge containing a paper that can diagnose Zika in just a few hours. The new test was designed to help doctors and clinicians distin- guish Zika from the dengue virus, another mosquito-borne virus that can lead to dengue fever, a condition that causes symptoms similar to those associated with Zika. It was initially inspired by another test Collins's team developed to detect and diagnose the ebola virus during the 2014 outbreak. The researchers were able to develop synthetic gene networks embedded onto paper that could be programmed to detect specific genetic sequences that cause the paper to change color. Once the Zika virus began to gain traction, they began to explore applying the same principles from their paper ebola test to a similar device that could detect and diagnose the Zika virus. Although the device is still in the early stages of development, the results so far have been promising. "We've done a nice proof-of-principle demonstration, but more work and additional testing would be needed to ensure safety and efficacy before actual deployment," Collins said. "We're not far off." Modifying a Glucose Detector to Detect Zika Researchers at the University of Alberta are seeking to transform a glucose detector into a point-of-care diagnostic for Zika. Virologists led by Tom Hobman, a professor of cell biology on the university's fac- ulty of medicine, reported in February that they were starting to make antibodies of the virus, identifying peptides required for the assay. The next step is to screen the Zika virus antibodies against the Zika protein they want to detect. At the same time, they need to en- sure the target antibodies don't cross-react with the closely related dengue virus proteins. Another researcher, Thomas Thundat, a professor in the depart- ment of chemical and materials engineering, has expertise making miniature chemical and biological sensors with high sensitivity and selectivity. Carlo Montemagno, director of Alberta Ingenuity Lab, will lead a group that will produce both the receptor molecule for targets identified by Hobman's team and the coatings that will be applied to the detectors that Thundat's lab will develop. Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed. Reach him at 2 Q Get answers from over 600 specialty suppliers and service providers, exhibiting the products you've only read about Q Experience a wealth of educational opportunities, including a comprehensive medtech conference, free presentations in multiple theaters on the expo fl oor, and open-to-all keynotes Q Cut through the crowd with a variety of networking opportunities specially designed to connect you with the medtech professionals you want to meet EXHIBITION & CONFERENCE: September 21-22, 2016 Minneapolis Convention Center 2614_MN_MDM16 Registration and details at… EXPERIENCE THE REGION'S LARGEST MEDTECH EVENT In a black cartridge containing a paper-based diagnostic for detecting the Zika virus, areas that have turned purple indicate samples infected with Zika; yellow areas indicate samples that are free of the virus.

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