Petit Institute Seminar

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"Field-deployable Microfluidic Platform for Rapid Diagnostics"

Christopher Phaneuf, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Appointee
Sandia National Laboratories

The threats of disease outbreaks and bioterrorism events demand portable technology capable of rapid, sensitive, and accurate diagnosis for timely treatment and containment. In this seminar, I will present the efforts at Sandia National Labs towards addressing such public health concerns through the development of the SpinDx platform, a portable centrifugal microfluidic device capable of high sensitivity, multi-modal, multi-analyte measurements. This versatile platform uses a disposable microfluidic disc designed for handling an array of small volumes of clinical samples to perform multiplexed diagnostics. A novel sample-to-answer immunoassay approach has been demonstrated for ultrasensitive toxin detection via binding of toxins to antibody-laden capture particles followed by sedimentation of the particles through a density-media in a microfluidic disc and quantification by laser-induced fluorescence. In addition, nucleic acid tests via isothermal amplification have been performed with single cell sensitivity using a non-contact temperature control system. As the recent Ebola outbreak and the current Zika crisis have shown, reliable and field-deployable technology such as SpinDx is urgently needed around the globe for accurate diagnostics in low-resource settings.

Christopher Phaneuf earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union in 2008. That same year he began his graduate studies in the Bioengineering program at Georgia Tech where he joined the Precision Biosystems Lab working with Prof. Craig Forest. As a Department of Homeland Security graduate fellow, Christopher developed a microfluidic platform designed for point-of-care molecular diagnostics. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the compact, low-cost platform was used to perform multiplexed detection of viral targets. After completing his doctorate in the Fall of 2014, he joined Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, CA as a postdoc in the Biotechnology and Bioengineering division to develop microfluidic technologies for biodefense and public health applications.


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