Abstract: Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases accounted for millions of deaths worldwide. These bacterial and viral infections came from a wide range of sources including contaminated food, water, and contact with infected individuals. While these cases have been a significant burden, the world has feared the rise of a new pandemic like the Spanish Flu of 1918. We have now realized these fears with the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections around the globe. At present, more than 200M cases have been reported with more than 4M known fatalities worldwide. The economic and social losses have also been devastating. Diagnostics play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 with their ability to identify infected individuals. The most common diagnostic assays are sensitive and specific but require expensive laboratories and highly trained individuals for operation increasing the time to get results and overall cost. Rapid diagnostic tests are an alternative that can be done outside of traditional laboratories but to date have largely under performed due to their limited complexity. Over the last decade, the Henry lab has been working to develop low-cost microfluidic devices for analysis of pathogenic bacteria and viruses. This talk will cover our recent research in this area leading to demonstration of how we are applying what we've learned to develop new systems to aid in the fight against the pandemic.
Originally published at chemistry.nd.edu.