Project Updates

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.   


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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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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