CHE Seminars  

Speaker Prof. Soumya K Srivastava
University of Idaho, USA
Topic On-Chip disease detection via Electrokinetics
Date 18,December 2015 (Friday)
Place L-10 Lecture Hall Complex (LHC)
11 am. - 12 pm.

Babesia species are obligate intraerythrocytic tick-borne protozoan parasites that are the etiologic agents of babesiosis, a potentially life-threatening, malaria-like illness in humans. Babesia-infected people have been known to suffer from complications including liver problems, severe hemolytic anemia and kidney failure. As reported to the Food and Drug Administration, human Babesiosis accounts for almost all of the 38% mortality cases observed in transfusion recipients. As of now, no tests have been licensed yet for screening blood donors for Babesiosis. Current diagnostic tools for Babesiosis including Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization (FISH), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) are expensive and burdened with multifarious shortcomings. We present, here, a low-cost, high-specificity, quick, and easy-to-use electrokinetic diagnostic tool for separating Babesia-infected cells. In this work, we exposed a mixture of Babesia-infected (5% parasitemia) and healthy red blood cells to non-uniform electric fields in a fabricated microfluidic platform to manipulate and isolate the Babesia-infected cells within a minute. At DC voltage configurations of 10V, 0, 6V in the inlet and two outlet channels respectively, the diseased cells were seen to flow in a direction different from the healthy red blood cells. Results show that the designed microdevice platform, when fully developed into a point-of-care, lab-on-a-chip diagnostic device, could be used to screen donors’ blood for Babesiosis at donation centers, thus preventing contamination of the blood bank. The project is ongoing and future work will focus on differentiating the various other species of Babesia and their co-infecting agents.

Dr. Soumya K. Srivastava is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of Idaho, Moscow since 2013. Before joining University of Idaho, she was an Assistant Research Professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering at Washington State University during 2010-2013. She obtained her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at Mississippi State University in August 2010, M.S from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago in 2005 and B.S from R.V. College of Engineering, Bangalore, India in 2001. Her research interests focus on microfluidics, bio-separations, designing lab-on-a-chip system for medical diagnostic applications using electrokinetics, modeling and simulations, and educational research. Dr. Srivastava is an active member of AIChE, AES, ASEE, SWE and Sigma-Xi. She has won many accolades including the Innovative Engineering Educator by National Academy of Engineers in 2015, Inclusive Educator Excellence Award by Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) in 2015, most cited article in 2011, and best paper award in 2009.

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