Chemical Engineering (Advisor: Shan X. Wang and Polly Fordyce)
Real-time or quantitative PCR (qPCR) enables detection of both genetic and infectious diseases and has been developed into several point-of-care (POC) devices in recent years; however, the simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and multiplex capabilities of these devices remain limited due to their use of fluorescence-based detection. A promising alternative is the use of giant magneto resistive (GMR) sensors. The goal of my project is to expand my lab’s GMR-based DNA detection methods to include simultaneous PCR amplification, resulting in a POC qPCR platform which I will then validate on a real-world disease application−rapid identification of influenza infection. Replacing fluorescence-based detection with GMR-based methods will enable the development of more affordable, accessible, and easy-to-use clinical tests in the future.