Developing and promoting cell-free paper based diagnostic technology

About Us

OpenDiagnostics are working to develop and promote a new type of open source, paper-based diagnostic. Proof-of-concept for similar tests has already been demonstrated for detecting Zika and Ebola viruses.
Since they are low cost, thermally stable, and easy to use, these strips are well suited to bring diagnostic capabilities to the Global South – across areas spanning healthcare, agriculture and environmental monitoring.

 

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The Technology

Harnessing recent advances in synthetic biology and paper microfluidics, cell-free paper-based diagnostics offer a platform for low cost, in-field tests with a very wide range of possible specificities.
Synthetic gene networks can be designed to generate quantifiable outputs, such as chromoproteins, in the presence of specific input signals like heavy metals or viral RNA sequences. These are freeze-dried onto paper, along with the cellular machinery used for gene transcription and translation.
When rehydrated, rapid determination of the presence/absence of a substance of interest can be made. With a simple visible readout, little or no laboratory experience or infrastructure is required.

Our Goal

Via research and the development of collaborative networks, we aim to identify technically feasible and high-impact applications for this versatile diagnostic platform.
Alongside this, we are working with the Synthetic Biology community to build working prototypes, and with the Centre for Global Equality to build partnerships between scientists and potential end-users in the developing world.

Contact Us

Get in touch at:
enquiries@open-diagnostics.org
Centre for Global Equality
72 Trumpington Street
Cambridge
CB2 1RR