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LAMMP Seminar Video
Low-Cost, High-Performance Optical Technologies to Meet Global Health Needs
Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Ph.D.

Advances in the biosciences are responsible for dramatic gains in life expectancy achieved over the last century. Yet, the majority of the world has not benefited from this progress. Sustainable and scalable innovations to improve healthcare in low-resource settings are needed. Advances in optical technologies, molecular recognition, and low power sensors now offer the ability to design low-cost platforms for point-of-care (POC) diagnostics. Efforts to integrate molecular imaging together with miniature microscopes are now yielding new POC diagnostics for infectious and chronic diseases. Driven by advances in consumer electronics, high resolution imaging can be obtained with low cost devices; advances in digital signal processing provide the ability to automate analysis. We are using this technology to improve early detection of cervical, esophageal, colon, breast, and oral cancer; clinical trials are underway in Houston, Botswana, and China. This same technology is being used to create microfluidic technologies for diagnosis of infectious diseases at the POC, including inexpensive tools to determine HIV viral load.

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