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Purdue researchers developing paper-based test to detect pathogens

Purdue University researchers are developing technology that could allow highly sensitive detection of an infectious disease such as HIV or whooping cough by using a low-cost, automated, point-of-care test similar in packaging to a pregnancy test.
The paper-based test could allow ultra-sensitive detection of pathogens with minimal user interaction and without having to send the test to a lab and wait for results, according to a university article.

BMES member Jacqueline Linnes is developing the technology using nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) on paper, which is a molecular technique used to detect a particular virus or bacterial pathogen in a specimen of blood, tissue or body fluid, according to the article.

Linnes is an assistant professor in Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. She is collaborating with BMES members Elizabeth Phillips and Orlando Hoilett, along with Megan Chiu, Rui Shen, and Kristin Byers all in Purdue's College of Engineering.

“Existing NAATs often require the use of a large, bulky instrument that contains complex, injection-molded plastic cartridges that can each cost $30 or more, more than twice as expensive as high-throughput lab-based tests,” Linnes said in the article.

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