Disease Diagnosis

Development of a Scalable Platform for Precision Disease Diagnosis Linked to Guided Medication Therapy

Recent estimates suggest that 15 million individuals die each year related to infectious diseases. Infectious diseases are also associated with 30% of the disability-adjusted life years globally. In the United States and around the world, human populations continue to suffer from a wide range of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases that spread in epidemic and pandemics across borders, hemispheres and socioeconomic strata. New pathogens (e.g., coronaviruses) with the potential to spread rapidly arise each year while well-recognized organisms (e.g., tuberculosis) first noted several hundred years ago continue to cause high death rates globally. Despite man’s best efforts, interventions that seek to reduce these diseases has strengthened organisms by hastening the emergence of multiply drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria that have spread globally.

In resource-limited settings around the globe, access to high-quality health care is often limited. When such health facilities are available, they typically have limited infrastructure and often have no facilities that enable accurate diagnosis of common health conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis or other common infectious diseases. When medical providers have limited access to accurate diagnostic testing, they are forced to provide empiric therapies that may not accurately target the infection or underlying cause of disease. In the case of serious acute infections, empiric antibiotic therapy may inadvertently promote the spread of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. The spread of such organisms is now a global problem that threatens to render antibiotic agents useless. Thus, there is an urgent need to provide low-cost, accurate and simple but multiplexed diagnostic tests for use in poor countries. To address this critical need, we plan to assemble a multi-disciplinary research team with diverse expertise in engineering, design, product development and validation, clinical research, molecular assay development, and global clinical and public health research. This team seeks support for this multi-disciplinary research that will yield prototype models for benchtop, portable diagnostic systems that are affordable and easy to use in various resource-limited settings.

Project Team:

Henry Wang, College of Engineering
N. Cary Engleberg, Medical School
Sandro Cinti, Medical School
Prashant Yadav, Ross School of Business
Paul Kilgore, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Wayne State University
Mitsuko Seki, Nihon University School of Dentistry