Rapid Digital Microbial Detection Device Usable in Low-Resource Settings

Spin-Darc LLC
Organization Location: 
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Spin-Darc LLC is developing a rapid microbial detection device that implements a unique method for the detection of contaminant microbes using an unmodified optical disk drive (DVD). The envisaged ultimate result will be a fieldable, low-cost, versatile microbial detection device usable in poor, hard-to-reach communities worldwide, and enabling healthcare workers or volunteers with minimal training to rapidly diagnose bacterial infections in mothers and newborns, such as Group B Streptococcus, etc.

This approach isolates microbial targets in controlled geometries over a hydrophobic digital-encoded substrate (DVD). It has been discovered that isolated microbes, in specifically positioned locations and geometries, cause a discernible interruption or change to data being read from the optical disk. This change can be exploited to indicate positive detection and, in most instances, detection counts. The proposed work, to be completed within a 12-month time period, will focus on the advance and validation of this detection technique, as well as in-vitro assay preparation methods for use with the proposed device. Dynamic improvements to the technique will be adopted, as required, to develop the highest levels of sensitivity and specificity. This process will also help to create a streamlined method of storage, handling, and application of contaminant samples, suitable for low-resource settings and not requiring extensive personnel training.