Project Updates » Archives » 2013
Senior chemical engineering major Sara Dale presented two poster sessions during the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in September about her work on the PAD Project. One session focused on general analytical chemistry and the other was called Sci-mix, a large session that highlighted a few posters from each division of the meeting.
Nicholas Myers and Abigail Weaver recently demonstrated paper devices at the Center for Analytical Instrument Development (CAID) 6th annual meeting on the campus of Purdue University.
Emalee Kernisan, a senior science-business major, has been working on the PAD project since fall 2012. Recently, her role on the project has involved analyzing the exterior packaging of pharmaceuticals sent to the lab from Kenya and checking the medication first hand for anything suspicious. The process to determine the authenticity of the pills includes photographing the pills, ensuring that the samples are all similar, and reviewing the information listed on the packaging to identify any misspellings and inaccurate information.
ELDORET, KENYA — At the Moi University Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), it is not uncommon to see the same patient more than once. But what if it is not sickness causing the patient to return to the waiting room once a week? What if it is because the drugs given do not actually contain medication?In a 2005 survey conducted by National Quality Control Laboratories, 30 percent of all drugs distributed to the public were counterfeit. Counterfeit drugs are a huge problem. But now a device called the Paper Analytical Device (PAD) is being piloted in Kenya by the pharmacists employed at the MTRH.
I presented a poster at the ACS meeting in Indianapolis, IN on September 8 titled, “Iodate Quantification in Fortified Salt Using a Paper Analytical Device.” The PAD can measure part per million (ppm) levels of iodine, which is like jumping into a sea of a million red balls and coming back up with the single green ball!
Abigail Weaver recently presented a talk entitled, Fast paper-based technology for qualitative pharmaceutical testing, at the Fall 2013 American Chemical Society National meeting. She highlighted previous work showing that paper-based tests perform well in the lab, greater than 90% sensitivity, in the identification of beta-lactam and anti-tuberculosis medications.
Marya and I traveled to Kenya in July 2013. Traveling to labs in the developing world is necessary because this allows us to see the existing limitations and how we need to construct PADs around these limitations.
Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, and her collaborators have recently published results that show the effectiveness of an inexpensive paper test card that could fundamentally change the balance of power between pharmaceutical buyers and sellers in the developing world.