Point-of-care diagnostics and assays
A major current focus of activity in the lab is the development of clinical diagnostics for infections and diseases, and field-portable methods for detection of toxins and contaminants. Our preferred format is the lateral-flow immunoassay (the “home pregnancy test” format) in which reporter particles form a visible line when analyte-bridged to capture antibodies immobilized on a wicking matrix. We have introduced two new types of reporter particles, nanophosphors and enzyme-decorated phage particles, which make these tests much more sensitive, and (with phosphors) highly quantitative. We collaborate on phosphors with Jokoah Brgoch of UH and a lab spinoff company called Luminostics, and on transport and binding fundamentals with Jacinta Conrad of UH CHBE.