Farah Kabir

Farah  Kabir
Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Hadley Sikes
Department: MIT
Areas of Research: Biology
Years: 2018-2019
Research Project Title:

Synthesis of Soluble Phenolphthalein Derivative for Colorimetric Diagnostic Test Readout

abstract:Polymerization-based signal amplification (PBA) is a technique for rapid, POC diagnostic tests in resource-limited settings. Advantages to this readout method include affordability, instrument-free set-up, and high-contrast visual determination of the results. First, a droplet of a patient’s sample is loaded on a test strip covered with immobilized antibodies. If the sample contains the target antigens, they bind to the antibodies. In order to amplify the signal, a series of washing steps are performed. To prevent diffusion of the phenolphthalein out of the hydrogel during washing, we will covalently cross link the phenolphthalein into the polymer, and functionalize it with hydrophilic moieties to the solubility of the monomer – making it more compatible for use with the PBA method.

I look forward to learning the presentation skills demanded and taught by the SuperUROP program. I anticipate that participating in the program will be good preparation for my future graduate studies.