It is estimated that 2 million health-care associated infections are acquired each year by hospitalized patients resulting in 90,000 deaths and about $4.5 billion in excess health care costs. A large and growing percentage of these infections can be attributed to Staphylococcus aureus and, in particular, to methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Rapid PCR-based tests have been developed for screening MRSA in health-care settings, but the high cost and complexity of existing nucleic acid testing platforms have limited their acceptance for routine screening in most health-care settings. The goal of this project is to develop a rapid, low-cost, easy-to-use nucleic acid testing platform that can be deployed for MRSA screening in a wide range of health-care settings. The proposed testing platform is based on Advanced Liquid Logic's "digital microfluidics" technology which enables programmable micro-manipulation of sub-microliter sized droplets using an electrode array formed on a low-cost and disposable printed circuit board substrate. In Phase I of this project Advanced Liquid Logic developed chip-based methods for rapid thermocycling, real-time PCR detection, magnetic-bead based sample preparation, and reaction preparation and mixing. In Phase II, these results will serve as the foundation for the development of a product prototype nucleic acid analysis system for near-patient and point-of-care use. An MRSA screening test will be developed on the platform and extensively validated in preparation for an FDA submission. Ultimately, additional cartridges could be developed for screening and detection of other health-care associated infections. This lab-on-a-chip platform will offer significant advantages over other approaches in terms of flexibility, scalability, performance and cost.

Public Health Relevance

A system for the detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus will be developed to help control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospital settings.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
5R44AI065169-04
Application #
8244515
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IDM-P (12))
Program Officer
Ritchie, Alec
Project Start
2005-07-01
Project End
2013-06-30
Budget Start
2012-04-01
Budget End
2013-06-30
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$981,342
Indirect Cost
Name
Advanced Liquid Logic
Department
Type
DUNS #
140695474
City
Research Triangle Park
State
NC
Country
United States
Zip Code
27709