BME100 f2017:Group12 W0800 L1

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Name: Jason Zhang
Name: Priscilla Han
Name: Amy Nystrom
Name: Aimee Stryker
Name: Vishnu Karthigeyan


Health Care Issue

Our health care issue is detection, and consequently, prevention.

Infections are one of the main causes of death in developing worlds, with lower respiratory infections listed as the number one killer, and diarrhoeal disease (such as cholera), tuberculosis, and neonatal infections all taking close places on the list (1). These diseases range from viruses found in water, to vicious airborne bacteria, and through some of them can be treated effectively, such treatment is no where near a guaranty for peoples in developing worlds. According to the Center for Disease Control (2), a third of the world's population is infected with TB, and in 2015 alone 10.4 million people became sick with the disease because of it, with 1.8 million of those people dying of the disease. And though TB seems like an easily treatable issue in the United States, this data shows it is a different story in some other countries.

This leads to the heart of the issue, which is that detection and prevention are crucial for the health and well being of peoples in developing worlds. If one can somehow prevent an individual from contracting a disease, then the health risk of that disease is lowered much more drastically then when attempting to treat such a disease, especially in a developing world. Our suggested means of prevention is to provide a form of detection. This detection comes from attachable patches or sprays applied to the face masks used by all medical facilities, and by humanitarian workers entering highly populated areas. We are posing a detection method for airborne pathogens specifically, and these patches or spays will be designed to change color when in contact with highly contagious and dangerous airborne diseases, such as tuberculosis. After detection, the the relevant procedures and precautions would be taken to clean infected areas, disinfect, providing face masks, and treat infected person, while preventing uninfected people from coming in contact with the disease.


(1) World Health Organization, Top Ten Causes of Death Fact Sheet. May 2011.

(2) Center for Disease Control, Tuberculosis Data Sheet. 2016.

Customer Validation



Mayo Clinic Physicians who focus on Tuberculosis (2)-

  • Ritu Banerjee, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Zelalem Temesgen, M.D.
  • Nancy L. Wengenack, Ph.D.
  • Bharath Raj (Raj) Varatharaj Palraj, M.B.B.S.
  • Patricio Escalante, M.D.
  • Salvador Alvarez, M.D

Phoenix Infectious Disease Specialist (1)-

  • Ann M Khalsa

1101 N Central Ave Ste 204 Phoenix, AZ 85004

  • Yvonne Patterson

1101 N Central Ave Ste 204 Phoenix, AZ 85004

  • Brian D Arey

1101 N Central Ave Ste 204 Phoenix, AZ 85004

  • Edwin Yu

925 E McDowell Rd Fl 3 Phoenix, AZ 85006


  • HandsOn Greater Phoenix, Volunteer Organization
  • Doctors Without Borders (Information Session in Phoenix, AZ in 2017)
  • Médecins du Monde
  • International Medical Corp-

Robert Simon, MD. Nancy Aossey, CEO.


Philanthropists in Phoenix-

  • Wayne Parker

405 E Thunderbird rd. Phoenix, AZ (602)290-5300

  • Jerry Kaster

4757 East Greenway Road Phoenix, AZ (602)717-4611



(1) Infections Disease Specials in the Greater PHX Area.

(2) Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis.


Companies that have already manufactured pathogen-identifying techniques and have put them on the market include Alere Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., and Siemens Industry Inc. However, these products all attempt to appeal to patients as their market base. None of these products directly measure pathogens in the air; rather, these products are designed to diagnose possible ailments in the general public.

Alere Inc. Focuses on obtaining physical samples (including fecal, humoral, and urinal) from a live patient to test if they are infected with a particular disease.
F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. Mostly consists of utilizing polymerase chain reactions (PCRs) with human blood samples.
Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. Main method for microorganism identification for their kits is the immunofluorescence technique.
Siemens Industry Inc. Manufactures advanced bulky machinery that intricately tests samples to identify a sample’s composition. This line of products appears to appeal more to providers and physician use.

In contrast to the current solutions on the market, our product will be designed to detect certain harmful pathogens in the air rather than in the human body. In this way, purchasers can be alerted to when their environment may potentially cause them to become ill. In this particular case, when our product comes into pathogens into air, it will change to a certain color.

Advantages Disadvantages
Easy to use; only need to apply it to a mask via spraying or applying a sticker to the mask -- unlike complex machinery
Simple to make Need to research what chemicals are "activated" by which pathogens
(unmet technological need)
Selling price should be cheap in the market -- accessible to poorer markets Production costs may be expensive depending on if we choose to use electric biochemcial sensors (nanotechnology) or chemical biosensors

Need to take shelf life into consideration (particularly if we choose to use chemical biosensors)
(mechanical need concern)

Need to determine a functioning temperature range
(mechanical need concern)
Minimal waiting time for outcome - unlike PCR or immunofluorescence technique (which can take several days)
No need to take samples from humans -- only needs to contact air, unlike typical disease testing kits sold by current companies

One financial disadvantage is that the entire research and FDA process to test the product will be more costly and will take longer to be complete as a result of the physician-patient interactions occurring out of the country.

Created biosensors will most likely be selective to one pathogen type - may not take mutations into account

Overall, this product should be marketable to the ranks from knowledgable physicians to the general public due to its simplicity; no extensive training is required to utilize this product. However, this product would be more likely to be sold in areas rampant with life-threatening diseases, where its inhabitants would be anxious to know what danger lurks in the air. This product is not designed to diagnose symptoms; instead, it is meant to be used as a preventative measure before becoming ill with a specific disease.

IP Position

Although there are no direct patents against an adhesive strip added to a surgical mask, there are patents for surgical masks and methods for detecting pathogens.

  • WO2014093639 A1, System and method for detecting pathogens, Dec 12, 2013. This is goes over detecting a pathogen from a recognition agent in a sample.
  • WO2005015170 A1, Airborne pathogen detector system and method , Nov 7, 2003.This patent goes over a specific type of airborne pathogen detector system.
  • US20050199245 A1,Nose airway for aromatherapy and detecting airborne pathogens, April 25,2005 This goes over a device that is placed into the nostrils and detects when a pathogen has entered the nose.
  • US20060259249A1, Rapid identification of microbial agents, March 3, 2004. This is a method of identifying a test bioagent on the basis of base composition signatures for bioagent-identifying amplicon.

Fundability Worksheet Scores

Score: 2

Customer Validation
Score: 1

IP Position
Score: 2