Preventative or curable major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes can be successfully
treated if detected early in their development via routine physician visits and preventative screening. However,
many populations of the world are medically underserved due to resource limitations, geographical location
and socio-economic barriers. The overall goal of this project is to develop a portable, inexpensive and easy-to-
use point-of-care (POC) platform that can be deployed to prescreen such communities for many of the
common, clinically significant diseases in these underserved communities. For development of our initial proof
of concept, our integrative team will closely collaborate with partnering physicians in Mongolia on a platform for
early diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and Hepatitis B and C, which are closely linked to HCC,
both of which have a high incidence in this country and in the surrounding region.
We propose the development of a portable, easy-to-use, low-cost immunosorbent assay for blood-borne
biomarkers of these diseases using a quantitative vertical flow assay (q-VFA) with Raman readout. This
platform, which is based on an extensive body of work at the University of Utah, provides a short sample-to-
result turn-around-time and can be administered, for example, by a local health care worker or community
leader. If positive, referral for further diagnostic evaluation is needed, and the patient can be directed to their
nearest medical facility.
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