Micronutrients, such as iron, zinc, iodine, and vitamin A, are of incredible importance for proper physical and immunological development, and deficiency of these micronutrients can result in irreversibly impaired mental function, poor immunological response, and anemia, among other effects. Prolonged deficiencies of micronutrients result in 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, currently there are no effective solutions for measuring micronutrient levels precisely or for monitoring the response to supplementation interventions with accuracy.
As part of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge 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.