Project Updates

CePAT provides facilities for pharmacopeia testing and training in Ghana

Author: Marya Lieberman

Last Thursday May 21, I had the opportunity to visit the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training in Accra, Ghana.  This lab facility was established by USP in May of 2013, so it's just two years old. The director is Dr. Eric Kwasi Boateng.   The lab carries out USP analysis of a wide range of pharmaceuticals;  they work with manufacturers who want to ensure high quality products, and also with organizations that buy lots of medical products, such as country MRAs and NGOs.  The lab also develops new tests  and offers training sessions and hands-on workshops to teach medical regulators and analytical chemists how to perform the assays.  There is even a course in HPLC troubleshooting and maintenance.  It's a really useful resource.  …

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BBC shows PADs in use at Moi Hospital

Author: Marya Lieberman

The short segment aired Saturday May 23 on BBC International's HealthCheck program as part of a larger theme of finding and fighting poor quality medications;  I'll post a link as soon as I get it from the producers.  

Here Zoe Flood is shooting video of some of the pharmacy students using PADs.  

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Special issue of AJTMH focuses on low quality medicines in the developing world

Author: Marya Lieberman

Access to high-quality medicine is a basic human right, but more than four billion people live in countries where many medications are substandard or fake. Marya Lieberman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame and Abigail Weaver, a postdoctoral associate in the University’s Department of Civil Engineering and Environmental and Earth Sciences, took up the challenge of how people in developing countries could detect low-quality antimalarial drugs without expensive equipment and without handling dangerous chemicals.

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Nick's paper now in press at Analytical Chemistry

Author: Marya Lieberman

Using surface-tension enabled mixing (STEM), Nicholas Meyers and Emalee Kernisan developed a titration on paper with part per million sensitivity for detection of iodate in iodized salt. The titration also can be used in a quantitative assay for amoxicillin, a common beta lactam antibiotic.  

saltpad

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Congratulations to Abigail Weaver, PhD!

Author: Marya Lieberman

Dr. Abigail Weaver defended her thesis on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.  She will be joining the group of Prof. Joshua Shrout in the Civil Engineering/Geosciences Department at Notre Dame to study biofilms.  Best of luck to Gail as she starts this new chapter in her life!  …

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Paper microscopes

Author: Marya Lieberman

A Stanford research group found a way to print optically transparent microscope lenses onto a paper substrate.  The user just folds the microscope up to use it. Total cost of the microscope is expected to be around $1 US.  

 

Full story on NPR 

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Gail Weaver honored with $2,000 Baxter Young Investigator Award

Author: Marya Lieberman

Graduate student Abigail Weaver was selected from over 100 applicants as a recipient of the Baxter Young Investigator Award.  This award program was developed to stimulate and reward research that can be directly used for critical care therapies and the development of medical products that save and sustain patients’ lives.  It carries a $2,000 honorarium.  …

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Nicholas Myers wins fellowship to help identify substandard antibiotics

Author: Marya Lieberman

 The United States Pharmacopeia has selected Nick Myers as one of three USP Global Fellows in 2014-2015.  Nick will develop a new type of paper-based test that can detect pharmaceuticals  that don't contain the right amount of active ingredients.  When a person buys an antibiotic, that product ought to contain the right quantity of medicine.  But more than one in five of the samples from our field study site in western Kenya are substandard--mostly underdosed. …

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Micronutrient Forum Global Conference 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Author: Nicholas Myers

From June 2 to June 6, Marya and I had the exciting experience of attending the Micronutrient Forum which is a global conference. The focus of the conference was "Building Bridges" between scientific advances and multi-sectoral programming needs to reduce micronutrient malnutrition. We attended this conference because of our work with developing the saltPAD, a paper device that quantifies iodine in iodized salt. This work has been funded by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). 

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Summer research students join PAD project

Author: Marya Lieberman

Summer is a great time for student research, and we are glad to welcome undergraduates Ivan Leung, Rebecca Ryan, Steven Froelich, Cameron Miller, and Esseabasi Etim, along with high school researchers Margaret Berta, Mike Dowd, and Myracle Newsome.  

Ivan is a long time project member who has been helping Nick design and test the urinary iodide PAD.  This summer he was awarded SURF funding.  Rebecca and Steven are chemical engineers who answered the call for HPLC analysis of our 800 drug samples from Kenya;  they will work with Margaret, Myracle, and Mike to conduct forensic packaging analysis, PAD testing, and "gold standard" HPLC quantification of active ingredients.   Esseabasi is a student at Winthrop University who is doing an REU this summer;  he will be working with Gail and CS graduate student Sandipan Banerjee to develop new chemical tests and build up the library of lane results for the image analysis program.  Cameron is a student intern at Springboard Engineering; he is taking on some of the routine fabrication of PADs under the direction of Gail Weaver.  Welcome all.  …

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