Mark Chounlakone

Mark  Chounlakone
MIT EECS | Analog Devices Undergraduate Research and Innovation Scholar
Advisor: Joel Voldman
Department: EECS
Areas of Research: Medical Devices
Years: 2017-2018
Research Project Title:

Automated Amperometric Immunoassay

abstract:In 2016, the estimated global mortality rate of newborns in the first month of life was 7,000 deaths per day. Fifteen percent of these deaths were due to sepsis, or bacterial bloodstream infection. Many newborns could be saved if sepsis were rapidly diagnosed. The conventional diagnostic blood test can take days to produce results because samples must be transported to remote labs where equipment is available. In addition, only a small amount of blood can be drawn from a newborn. The Voldman lab is developing a portable device that can test small volumes of blood quickly and reliably. This device leverages the small scale of microfluidics to reduce the amount of blood required for a blood test, and its small form factor makes it more viable to store and use locally. While this device takes only 15 minutes to perform a blood test, preparing the device takes two days of manual labor. This project aims to automate this process so that devices can be prepared ahead of time in large quantities. The final product should be able to run the device independently from preparation to testing. This will make the device more viable as a rapid diagnostic tool in hospitals.
About:

“The device I'm working on is a biosensor that has the potential to improve the speed and quality of blood tests. My role in this project will require an understanding of interdisciplinary concepts. I'm excited to work on a high-impact project while extending my knowledge of other science and engineering fields.”