Project Updates

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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Paper test cards in use in Kenya

Author: Jessica Campbell

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.

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Paper-based Tests for Pharmaceuticals Presented at Fall 2013 ACS National Meeting

Author: Abigail Weaver

Gail Weaver leading a paper analytical device workshop in Nairobi, Kenya

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. 

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Trip to Mombasa, Kenya

Author: Nicholas Myers

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.

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Paper-based counterfeit drug testing gains attention

Author: Marissa Gebhard and Gene Stowe

A Kenyan pharmacist uses a paper analytical device to test for counterfeit drugs

Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame, has collaborated with faculty and students to demonstrate advances in paper analytical devices (PADs) to test for counterfeit drugs. The promising low-tech solution has received broad attention in the scientific community. Lieberman’s work was featured in Chemical and Engineering News and presented recently at the American Chemical Society’s 244th National Meeting in Philadelphia.

This past June, Lieberman and graduate student Abigail Weaver were invited to present at a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada funded the workshop that brought U.S. researchers together with African academics and policy makers to survey state-of-the-art diagnostics designed for use in low-resource settings — such as clinics that do not have reliable electrical power.

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Angelotti Undergraduate Research Fund launches

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Revathi Kollipara chemistry major class of 2013 - first recipient of Angelotti Undergraduate Research Award

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry launched the Nicholas C. Angelotti Undergraduate Research Fund in Analytical Chemistry with a lecture by Tim Angelotti, a researcher and associate professor at the Stanford School of Medicine, followed by a few words from David Angelotti who spoke about his father. The Angelotti family established the Nicholas Angelotti Undergraduate Research Endowment for Excellence in 2005. Earnings for the endowment will support summer studentships, beginning this summer in Professor Marya Lieberman’s laboratory.

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Lieberman and Duffield receive Indiana CTSI 2011 Fall Core Pilot Grants

Author: Indiana CTSI

indiana clinical and translational science institute logo

The Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute has announced the recipients of its biannual program to provide small grants to investigators whose project will benefit from to access cutting-edge scientific expertise and technology. Two of the faculty are from the College of Science. Giles Duffield, assistant professor of biological sciences, and Marya Lieberman, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, have received awards.

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PAD project seeks low-tech chemical field tests for developing countries

Author: Gene Stowe

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A collaborative research program involving faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and high school teachers and students is working to develop low–tech field tests for chemicals, with numerous applications in developing countries. The effort is led by six Notre Dame faculty members — Marya Lieberman, Holly Goodson, and Graham Lappin of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Patrick Flynn of Computer Science and Engineering; and David Go of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering — with collaborators Toni Barstis at Saint Mary’s College and George Twaddle at Ivy Tech Community College. The project is affiliated with the Advanced Diagnostics and Therapeutics Initiative and the Eck Center for Global Health.

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