Development of a Paper Test Card for Testing Injectable Oxytocin in Low Resource Settings

University of Notre Dame
Organization Location: 
Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

Every year, more than 100 million women receive injectable oxytocin to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, which kills 94,000 women each year. But there are persistent problems with the quality of oxytocin in developing countries. One study estimates that a quarter of the women in Africa who receive injectable oxytocin get a shot that does not deliver the correct amount of the drug. It is difficult to analyze injectable oxytocin even in a well equipped laboratory, and there are currently no point-of-use tests, so birth attendants don't know whether the injectable oxytocin they are using is of good quality or not. In this seed project, the University of Notre Dame project team will create a paper test card to assess the quality of injectable oxytocin at the point of care. Using a wax printing technology, multiple paper chromatography lanes and chemical color tests will be combined in a user-friendly paper analytical device. The card will cost under a dollar, produce results from a tiny portion of the vial of oxytocin in 10 minutes, and will not require electricity, lab instruments, or handling of hazardous chemicals. The user will record test results by taking a cell phone photo. The project team will validate the card in lab to make sure it gives reliable results with real dosage forms of oxytocin, and then do field tests in Kenya to make sure it works in the hands of birth attendants and will be accepted by the national drug regulatory agency.