Micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, iodine, and vitamin A, are critical for proper physical and immunological development. Prolonged deficiencies of micronutrients result in irreversibly impaired mental function, poor immunological response, and anemia, and cause hundreds of thousands of serious birth defects and tens of thousands of deaths annually. While supplements that can be easily given at the point-of-care exist, there are currently no effective solutions for measuring micronutrient levels precisely and rapidly at the point-of-care.
As part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Exploration grant, we are working with MC10, a Boston-area for-profit, to combine our low-cost patterned paper-based diagnostics with their flexible electronics platform. This will enable an entirely new class of low-cost diagnostics, capable of highly quantitative analysis, all without a reader, enabling accurate monitoring of micronutrient levels in rural settings and at low cost.