Express ambulatory point-of-care molecular diagnosis
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This is an inter-disciplinary, technology driven program with multiple projects that aim to develop point-of-care molecular diagnostics for a range of important diseases, including epilepsy, HIV infection, coeliac disease, and malaria. Conventional laboratory tests have been indispensable for disease diagnosis. However, their high costs and need for skilled personnel to operate complicated equipment have limited their abilities to cope with escalating demand from the growing population, and the need for application in resource poor and remote areas. Therefore, development of portable, on-site, point-of-care (POC) testing devices has become increasingly important in medical research. POC testing performed at the time of consultation will allow the results to be used for making immediate, informed clinical decisions on patient care. In short, it will transform medical practice.
This innovative project will combine novel biochemical and engineering technologies that will perform molecular diagnosis rapidly using compact ‘smart’ devices at the point of care. The platform technology can be customised for any molecule of interest, including DNA, RNA and protein. There is very strong potential for technological innovation and eventual application and commercialisation of the devices to meet the rapidly expanding need of molecular diagnosis. The global molecular diagnostic market is estimated to be US$21.7 billion in 2014 with projected 5-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% to reach $45.2 billion in 2020. In this market, POC testing using lab-on-chip systems is the fastest growing segment, valued at >$2 billion in 2014 with CAGR of 16.5% (BCC Research, 2015).
This project is open for different students with different skills and background, including:
- Molecular biology
- Electrical engineering
- Electronic engineering
- Software engineering
Potential students are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors to discuss their suitability for the project based on their interests and skills.
- Dr Marian Todaro, Post-doc (molecular biology)
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