As the brainchild of the Synthetic Biology community and the Centre for Global Equality our goal is to address unmet diagnostic needs in global agriculture by developing cell-free programmable diagnostics. We've carried out market research, built partnerships in Africa and raised initial funds for proof-of-concept experiments. Our current focus is prototyping.
Both the underlying circuitry and the format of the test is modular and can be adapted to the end use.
Our tests can be carried out in-field and therefore save on time taken to transport samples to centralised labs and reporting results to farmers.
Diagnostic tests will be formatted on paper and designed with the user in mind; typically trained veterinarians in mobile laboratory vehicles.
Cost is the single biggest barrier to uptake of agricultural diagnostic tests. We aim to produce ours for less than $1.
Everything we do is motivated by impact: limiting food waste and economic losses caused by identifiable agricultural diseases.
We are committed to keeping the underlying technology open source and are exploring avenues together with the SynBioSRI for capacity building.
We are exploring alternative business models in which we can partner with research institutes and agricultural organisations on the ground.
Our progress to date
- Oct -Nov 2016 - We extensively researched the potential for cell-free paper based diagnostics in a development context through Development iTeams.
- Jan 2017 - We reformed as OpenDiagnostics.
- Feb 2017 - Chun Man, Emily & Laura visited South Africa.
- Mar 2017 - Raghd & Pete travelled to Kenya; Winners of the CUE £1k competition; Winners of the Pembroke College Parmee Prize for Entrepreneurship;
- Mar 2017 cont. - OpenDiagnostics organised the "Programmable biology for diagnostics: impacting global health and development" workshop, and were finalists in the Student Challenges Competition at Imperial College
- May 2017 - Finalists in the CUE £5k competition; Winners of the London Business School Healthtech Challenge; Launch of the Sensor CDT Team Challenge; Launch of Engineering Undergraduate Strip Reader Project.
- Jun 2017 - Biological prototyping begins!
- Jul 2017 - Awarded an OpenPlant Fund grant for our project "Cell-free diagnostics for the surveillance of livestock viruses"
- Nov 2017 - Attended the Judge Business School Social Ventures Weekend.