Innovation Spotlight: SmartTrap

February 21, 2018 09:28 PM EST By: Regina Ramazzini

The Smart Trap is a simple yet rugged battery-operated device that autonomously detects and reports diseases carried by mosquitoes. When a specimen feeds on the Smart Trap’s sugar bait component, it leaves behind traces of saliva, which are then assayed for transmissible amounts of pathogen.

The Smart Trap is a simple yet rugged battery-operated device that autonomously detects and reports diseases carried by mosquitoes. When a specimen feeds on the Smart Trap’s sugar bait component, it leaves behind traces of saliva, which are then assayed for transmissible amounts of pathogen. The Smart Trap transmits data to a cloud-based monitoring system via cellular networks, thus eliminating the need for the manual and labor-intensive collection, sorting, and homogenization of specimens in laboratories. The devices’ s assay reagents are stored in dry form and are deployed with the dispersal of the bait fluid. As a result, the Smart Trap is capable of independent surveillance for weeks at a time. The Smart Trap detects viral RNA using a sensitive isothermal nucleic acid amplification technique. Developed at Sandia, QUASR yields exceptionally bright, target-specific fluorescent endpoint signals with isothermal nucleic acid tests. These endpoint signals can be detected with a simple LED, and can be viualized by eye or with color cameras (e.g. cell phone cameras). The QUASR technique also greatly reduces the occurrence of false-positive detection. QUASR has applications to clinical diagnostics as well, and has been demonstrated to detect < 1000 copies of Ebola virus RNA.


 

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