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Solar Powered Field Kit for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis - Research Paper Example

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Solar powered field kit for the diagnosis of tuberculosis July 17, 2011 Abstract. Approximately one third of the world population is infected with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), and millions die each year from the dreaded disease…
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Solar Powered Field Kit for the Diagnosis of Tuberculosis

Download file to see previous pages... It is proposed that a field kit be developed for the diagnosis of TB that utilizes a hand-held fluorometer powered by energy from the sun. The biochemical principal for the kit will be based on antibody capture of M. tuberculosis membrane constituents isolated from patient blood samples and detection of a secondary fluorescently-labeled molecule. Blood samples will be analyzed in a microtiter dish and processed by a series of simple salt solution washes in the field. The same microtiter dish will be placed in the solar-powered, hand-held fluorometer. Diagnosis of the presence of M. tuberculosis will take merely minutes instead of weeks, and an appropriate antibiotic regime can be initiated by a field physician immediately. This will save valuable time in combating the infection, and will significantly reduce costs associated with the diagnosis of TB. The company profiled is Genzyme Worldwide, a biotechnology giant specializing in prenatal diagnostics, therapeutics, cancer, and infectious disease. Genzyme has the financial backing to develop and market the product on a global scale. Introduction. The company in profile is Genzyme Corporation, one of the leading biotechnology companies in the world. Genzyme is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, but also has operations in Europe and other locations across the world. Genzyme has over 12,000 employees and generated revenue in excess of 4.5 Billion dollars in 2009. Genzyme specializes in diagnostics, therapeutics, cancer research, and infectious disease. The diagnostics division of Genzyme has facilities which specialize in prenatal diagnostics, with tests offered in fetal genetic screens for Downs Syndrome (Trisomy 21), Tay Sach’s Disease, and Gaucher’s Disease. Genzyme also conducts national and international clinical trials for novel diagnostic tests, which enable the corporation to continually analyze and validate new technology on the cutting edge of life science research. The biochemical principals for how the kit will work are straight forward. A monoclonal antibody specific for a unique membrane component of M. tuberculosis will be developed and utilized as a “capture” molecule lining the plastic wells of the microtiter dish. The antibody is the key to sensitivity and signal amplification of the assay. The antibody must also be stable as a freeze dried powder subsequently sterilely packaged and transported at ambient temperature to the field. M. tuberculosis has a myriad of “sugar-lipids” in the bacterial membrane (Stanier et al, Springer et al, Master et al, Zahrt et al), contributing to the specific nature of the kit. As the antibody molecules attach to the bacterial membrane component, they will be unable to bind to a secondary antibody specific to the capture antibody. The secondary antibody will be conjugated to a fluorescent marker which will be detected by the fluorometer (www.RnDsystems.com). The more bacteria present in the microtiter dish, the more reduction of the fluorescent signal. Thus, a bright signal indicates the absence of the bacteria, and a dim signal is indicative of a high M. tuberculosis load. The solar powered fluorometer will also be simple in design. The instrument will run on solar batteries similar to those present in a calculator. The energy will be used to generate a specific wavelength of visible light to excite the fluorophores in the assay. The fluorescence will be detected in a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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