Project Updates

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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8,000 on the PADometer

Author: Marya Lieberman

We have made more than 8,000 PADs in the last two years--an amazing feat for our faithful spotting robot Dot the Bot and all the students who have participated in making the test cards.   

dotthebotweb_poster

Where are all the test cards going? Many are used for test development, internal validation studies, and demonstrations or lab experiments at conferences or in classes.  Nearly a thousand have gone to Kenya for field trials, a hundred were used at the FDA, and 900 saltPADs were shipped to South Africa for an external validation study. …

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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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Moving to market: Students argue for PADs in business plan competition

Author: Marya Lieberman

Improving access to high quality medicines is a huge global problem, and both technological and economic solutions are needed.  Students Sean McGee, Luke Smith, Chase Lane, and Valeriano Lima have taken a hard look at the economics of paper analytical devices (PADs) for testing pharmaceuticals, and their business plan is now advancing in two national business plan competitions.  Hop to the College of Science press release

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AD & T Funds Development of New Drug Characterization Tools

Author: Marya Lieberman

Detailed information about components of falsified pharmaceuticals helps to identify the types of fake medicines circulating in a country, and may shed light on the manufacturing processes and possible sources of the drug components. Dr. Mandal joins the PAD project in March of 2014 to develop new tools to analyze fake medicines found in low resource settings.  

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Senior Sara Sale presents at ACS meeting

Author: Stephanie Healey

Sara Dale stands by her poster at the annual ACS meeting

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.

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Analysis of the external packaging of pharmaceutical samples

Author: Shadia Ajam

Unsystematic stamping on a sample of pills

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.

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