Course

Rethinking Diagnostics

Pratik Shah, Principal Research Scientist
MAS.S63
Lecture: Fridays 1-2 and Lab: Fridays 2-4
Lecture: Room E14-525 and Lab: Room E15-441

Keywords: X-Prize, Diagnostics, immunoassays, multispectral imaging, mass-spec, PCR, microscopy, vital signs sensing, system integration, microfluidics, lab on a chip, health in developing countries

The overall goal is to build a real life Tricorder, as defined by the Tricorder X-Prize with a purse of $10 million. Through guest lectures and 10 hands on laboratories, students will learn to fabricate, remix, and design detection and monitoring devices for health following the core focus of the Tricorder, a portable, handheld diagnostic device which can brings health solutions to consumers at home or in remote parts of the world. Hands-on labs on a weekly basis in a new dedicated health technology research facility at the Media Lab. Students with successful prototype projects that show a potential for impact are eligible for travel to India to our clinical partner sites.

The convergence of medical technology, consumer wellness devices, and rapid prototyping technologies for medical devices represents an opportunity to reinvent delivery of health and wellness. Advances in fields such as wireless sensing, imaging diagnostics, lab-on-a-chip, and molecular biology will enable better choices in when, where, and how individuals receive care, thus making healthcare more convenient, affordable, and accessible. This reinvention of healthcare is bringing affordable, reliable health diagnostics directly to health consumers. We will learn about tools in clinical prototyping and rapid fabrication to create the next generation of affordable consumer health technologies.

This course will present to students an array of diagnostic and fabrication technologies for health that include microscopy, multispectral imaging, molecular diagnostics such as antibodies and aptamer functionalization of nanoparticles, microfluidic devices on chip and paper, sensors for wearable and continuous monitoring devices, and vital signs sensing such as pulse oximetry, plethysmography, temp monitoring and respiration rate.

Through guest lectures and eight hands on laboratories, students will learn to fabricate, remix, and design detection and monitoring devices for health following the core focus of the Tricorder, a portable, handheld diagnostic device which can brings care close to health consumers in their home. Lectures, assignments, labs and a group design project culminating in a medical device prototype will acquaint students with diagnostic device design process. Inspired by the Tricorder X-Prize, students will aim to create specific component technologies that integrate into a comprehensive Tricorder mechanism capable of vital signs and specific disease biomarker detection. Component areas will include optical, electric, biochemical, and molecular diagnostics. Select project teams will have the opportunity to travel to Bangalore, India or Detroit, Michigan to test their devices in clinical settings.

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