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A ‘litmus paper test’ for crop and animal disease detection?

October 9th, 2018

Congratulations to the Centre for GlobalEquality (CGE) Cultivator venture, OpenDiagnostics, for winning the2017 London Healthtech Challenge,and the £10,000 Dhruv Batra Prize. Their entry focused on using paper-basedcell free diagnostics to help address foot and mouth disease in cattle. Footand mouth costs £6.5 – £21 billion per year in regions where the disease isendemic, and is a constant threat to subsistence and small-scale farmers, whoselivelihoods are dependent on their livestock. Harnessing recentadvances in synthetic biology and paper microfluidics, cell-free paper-baseddiagnostics offer a platform for low cost, in-field tests with a very widerange of possible specificities. Thetechnique is comparable to using litmus paper to test for acidity but in thiscase the papers will be used to detect the presence of specific crop or animaldiseases in plant sap or animal body fluids. This should be ideal for use by agriculture research institutes andextension personnel. OpenDiagnostics of Cambridge has been supported by CGE (a TAAinstitutional member). For more information please visit CGEwebsite 17.6.17

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