The scientific aim of enVIRO is to develop novel low-cost paper-based microfluidic systems for the detection of waterborne pathogens. Norovirus and E. coli will be the exemplar targets as they are the primary agents of global gastrointestinal infections caused by contaminated drinking and bathing water. Three-dimensional microfluidic paper analytical devices (µPADs) will be implemented with isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology (INAAT) for sensitive quantitation of pathogens in environmental samples. This will only be possible by joining the expertise in molecular biology and nanotechnology at the University of Southampton (UoS) with the pioneering excellence in paper-based microfluidics at the group of the inventor of the field, George Whitesides, at Harvard University (HU). The enVIRO project will be primarily a research-driven training programme with a 24-month outgoing period spent at HU, for development of novel prototype 3D INAAT µPADs for environmental samples, and a 12-month re-integration phase at UoS in ERA, for knowledge dissemination and prototype implementation that addresses increasing global and European needs in tackling water contamination and infection issues.
Fields of science
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