Discipline: Convergence Science
Kehinde Sogbesan - Florida State University
As the rise of sexually transmitted diseases continues, the severity to find effective solutions remains paramount. Cheaper and faster detection serves to diminish the alarming rate and ensure earlier intervention. However, the process to monitor testing remains difficult, as nations worldwide continue to suffer from this epidemic of STDs. As a result, many researchers have explored the creation of point-of-care tests, tests self-administered by individuals. Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae lie as the most common STDs in the world, yet a rapid urine POC test does not exist. The study hypothesizes ELISA antibody sandwich technology will accurately detect chlamydia and gonorrhea, and further aid in the creation of a lateral flow device. Specifically, the study will identify the best antibody-conjugate combination to use in creating a rapid LFD and explore market strategies to best impact infected communities. We identified the most abundant proteins in the two bacterial infections, the major outer membrane protein (MOMP). The researcher then found matching monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to create an ELISA assay. Each of the two assays contained nine different antibodies and conjugate combinations to decipher the best detection combination. Our results indicate distinct and strong pairing for both assays among monoclonal antibodies. From an entrepreneurial lens, data was extracted to learn of advancements in POC tests, current competitors’ market strategies, and ongoing legislation. In combination with interviewing health clinics and institutions, the researcher was able to create a market strategy that will benefit disenfranchised communities, minorities, and college students. The scientific findings coupled with the entrepreneurial data aids in our continuation of creating this revolutionary LFD that will assists in ending this epidemic.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Dr. Lisa Scott
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeff Whalen, email@example.com
Role: The tests were conducted by myself and supervised by Dr. Robotham and Dr. Whalen. I identified the MOMP protein for Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae and purchased the isolated form, ensuring and modifying the sequence with distributors. I researched and identified the best antibodies for the two gram-negative bacteria. Once antibodies were acquired, I used an HRP-conjugation kit to create the secondary antibodies needed for the antibody sandwich ELISA assay. Each of the assays were coated and ran by me. Dr. Robotham and I analyzed our scientific data together. On the entrepreneurial side, I interviewed a variety of health clinics and identified current competitors in the market. From interview responses, a market strategy was devised. Dr. Whalen approved the market strategy fulfilling our entrepreneurial lens goal.