In the mid-20th century, experts believed the discovery of vaccines and antibiotic drugs would erase the problem of infectious diseases. Unfortunately, this prediction has not held true. Infectious and parasitic diseases still devastate the global population. They account for almost 30% of all disability adjusted life years (DALY), in which one DALY means that one year of "healthy" life is lost. In an effort to improve disease outcomes, strategies for the diagnosis of infectious diseases are being enhanced. These innovations are producing methods that are more rapid, reliable, sensitive and practical. Many of these strategies are based on nanomaterials.
Our lab investigates the use of particular nanomaterials, such as gold nanoparticles, to develop nanodiagnostic platforms for the detection and identification of pathogens, which are microorganisms that can cause disease. We aim to develop a product that can simultaneously detect and identify several pathogens in a single test.