Date of Graduation

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Chemical Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Christa Hestekin

Reader

Dr. Robert Beitle

Abstract

When testing water quality, “microbiological results typically require a minimum of 24 hours to complete” due to reliance on the traditional and inexpensive cultivation method. In 2000, an isothermal DNA amplification method termed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) was invented allowing for microbiological assessments to be performed in less than one hour without the need for an expensive thermocycler. In 2013, the World Health Organization reported LAMP as an “attractive diagnostic platform for resource-poor settings: it is fast [15-40 min], isothermal [requiring only a heat block], robust to inhibitors and reaction conditions that usually adversely affect PCR methods, and it generates a result that can be detected with the naked eye.”The objective of this research project was to develop a low-cost, LAMP-based diagnostic device for water-borne pathogens that could be used on low-resource environments. We developed a LAMP-based test to detect the ipaH gene shared by enteroinvasive E.coli and S. flexina. Our designed heating element for LAMP was made of a phase change material, plastic case, high-resistance nichrome wire, and a USB port. We used a portable battery pack to power the device. This research project was part of the 2016 EPA People, Prosperity, and the Planet Student Design Competition.

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