We envision an inexpensive biosensor that costs less than $5 per test and can assess vitamin B12 at the point of care in one drop of blood. Ultimately, it measures HoloTC in serum, the transporter protein of active vitamin B12 that’s taken up by cells for use.
Feasible budget to collect 50k samples every 20-40 years
Feasible budget to collect 50k samples every 2 years
We can’t initially build a multiplex biosensor for all six micronutrients of public health concern. We chose B12 since there are already low cost biosensors designed to address the data gaps for hemoglobin, ferritin, folate, vitamin A, and iodine. After asking people from the CDC and USAID, they said that a B12 biosensor would be particularly beneficial.
“Vitamin B12 is a micronutrient that is commonly neglected. There should be equal importance placed on it as hemoglobin.”
- Dr. Omar Dary
A disposable lateral flow test strip will be enclosed within a reusable plastic cartridge, and the end of the glucose portion will be insertable into an off-the-shelf glucometer. By integrating glucose monitoring tech, we can lower manufacturing costs and enable faster scalability.
Detection mechanisms are based upon the activity of an enzyme. When the target binds to a detection antibody, it enables the binding of a second probe to create a “sandwich” complex. The second probe is labeled with an enzyme, which upon the addition of a sucrose substrate will trigger the formation of glucose.
The amount of glucose generated is directly proportional to the amount of HoloTC present. By using enzymes, we can amplify the production of glucose, and by using electrochemical sensing, we can amplify the produced signal, allowing for sensitivity to increase by 1000 fold and for extremely low concentrations to be quantified.
A six-step breakdown
Completing the design of our device and getting feedback from biosensor experts
and apply for further funding from the Gates Foundation
Raise ~$20K seed grant + partner with a biotech lab to build first prototypes
a glucose sensing company, and work to integrate their PGMs and strips into our biosensor and scale device
various low-resource areas to test biosensor accuracy and functionality
to nonprofits for implementation in micronutrient data collection at LMICs(i.e. the WHO, CDC, UNICEF, Micronutrient Forum, etc.)