Sample Preparation Device for Bacterial and Viral Pathogens

Lead Research Organisation: Brunel University London
Department Name: Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


The aim of the project will be to design a functional device for the collection and subsequent purification steps (in necessary) of cloacal or faecal samples, for the analysis of 6 pathogens (3 viral, 3 bacterial). The key objectives will be to identify methods of accurately dispensing several micro volumes of fluid from a single larger source, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to compare theoretical models against physical testing. As the device is to be used primarily across the developing world, it will be important to develop a low cost method of manufacture, to ensure the device can be fabricated and assembled "on site". During later stages of the project, it would be beneficial to explore alternative applications of the product yielded. The development of a more sophisticated platform may offer additional applications for the device across the developed world (i.e. forensics, STI diagnostics, etc.).

The main research questions posed within the project will be whether an accurate method of dispensing small volumes of a fluid sample from a device will be achievable. The ability to fabricate the device in a lower income country, will also be important to ascertain. Due to the novelty of 3D printing in the field of microfluidics, the goal of the project is the contribution of knowledge to the developing field.


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