The Cornell NutriPhone has resulted through a collaboration between scientists and engineers in Nutritional Sciences and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. When we began this partnership, our initial targets were to develop diagnostic tools that were affordable and accessible for populations in both resource-limited and resource-rich settings. From a technical standpoint, we also decided to focus on adapting conventional laboratory assays and gold standard methods rather than focusing on proxy biomarkers that are widely used in most field-based rapid diagnostic tests. We now have prototypes for low-cost accurate quantitative determination of several micronutrients including vitamins D and B12 concentrations from a drop of blood at the point-of-care.
Srinivasan B, Lee S, Erickson D*, Mehta S*. Precision nutrition - review of methods for point-of-care assessment of nutritional status. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:103-108. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2016.12.001. Epub 2016 Dec 30. Review. PubMed PMID: 28043002. *joint corresponding authors
Lee S, O'Dell D, Hohenstein J, Colt S, Mehta S*, Erickson D*. NutriPhone: a mobile platform for low-cost point-of-care quantification of vitamin B12 concentrations. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 15;6:28237. PubMed PMID: 27301282; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4908584. *joint corresponding authors
Lee S, Srinivasan B, Vemulapati S, Mehta S*, Erickson D*. Personalized nutrition diagnostics at the point-of-need. Lab Chip. 2016 Jun 8;PubMed PMID: 27272753. *joint corresponding authors
Erickson D, O'Dell D, Jiang L, Oncescu V, Gumus A, Lee S, Mancuso M, Mehta S. Smartphone technology can be transformative to the deployment of lab-on-chip diagnostics. Lab Chip. 2014 Sep 7;14(17):3159-64. PubMed PMID: 24700127; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4117816.
Lee S, Oncescu V, Mancuso M, Mehta S, Erickson D. A smartphone platform for the quantification of vitamin D levels. Lab Chip. 2014 Apr 21;14(8):1437-42. PubMed PMID: 24569647.
Biofortification is the process of increasing the density of vitamins and minerals in a crop, through plant breeding or agronomic practices, so that when consumed regularly will generate measurable improvement in vitamin and mineral nutritional status. We are conducting two large randomized controlled trials in the urban slums of Mumbai to assess the efficacy of biofortification as a strategy to improve nutritional status, and immune and cognitive functioning in infants.
Pearl Millet Trial
The first trial focuses on children 12-18 months of age and a high iron- and zinc-variety of pearl millet. This feeding trial will continue for 9 months and examine the impact of biofortified pearl millet-based complementary food on iron and zinc status, growth, and immune and cognitive function.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02233764
Multiple Biofortified Food Crops Trial
The second trial expands the crop portfolio to include orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, wheat, and lentils, in addition to pearl millet to deliver 50-70% of the estimated average requirements for vitamin A, iron, and zinc to breastfeeding mothers and their 6-12 months old infants.
ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02648893
Supported by two competitive research grants from:
Finkelstein JL, Haas JD, Mehta S. Iron-biofortified staple food crops for improving iron status: a review of the current evidence. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:138-145. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.01.003. Epub 2017 Jan 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 28131049.
De Steur H, Mehta S, Gellynck X, Finkelstein JL. GM biofortified crops: potential effects on targeting the micronutrient intake gap in human populations. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:181-188. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Mar 11. Review. PubMed PMID: 28288329.
Stover PJ, Mehta S. Editorial overview: Food biotechnology. Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;44:v-vi. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.03.015. Epub 2017 Mar 24. PubMed PMID: 28347578.
Finkelstein JL, Mehta S, Udipi SA, Ghugre PS, Luna SV, Wenger MJ, Murray-Kolb LE, Przybyszewski EM, Haas JD. A Randomized Trial of Iron-Biofortified Pearl Millet in School Children in India. J Nutr. 2015 Jul;145(7):1576-81. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.208009. Epub 2015 May 6. PubMed PMID: 25948782.
In this work we will develop and field validate “FeverPhone” technology for point-of-care differential diagnosis of six common causes of acute febrile illness (namely: Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, Leptospirosis, Typhoid fever, and Chagas). The “FeverPhone” system builds on our team’s extensive background on the development of smartphone based diagnostics, infectious disease, and global health. The technical effort of this program comprises of the development of: a specialized 6-plexed colorimetric IgM/IgG assay cartridge that exploits our previous work on color discrimination assays on mobile devices, associated iPad based hardware that allows rapid interpretation of the cartridge results on a platform already used by our field technicians, and software that will combine differential molecular diagnosis with a confirmatory symptomatic interface used by the operator. The final system will enable actionable diagnosis in around 15 minutes. In parallel with technical development, we will perform a staged field validation study at our existing infectious diseases monitoring site in Ecuador.
Lu Z, O'Dell D, Srinivasan B, Rey E, Wang R, Vemulapati S, Mehta S*, Erickson D*. Rapid diagnostic testing platform for iron and vitamin A deficiency. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Dec 19;114(51):13513-13518. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1711464114. PubMed PMID: 29203653; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5754775. *joint corresponding authors
Rey EG, O'Dell D, Mehta S*, Erickson D*. Mitigating the Hook Effect in Lateral Flow Sandwich Immunoassays Using Real-Time Reaction Kinetics. Anal Chem. 2017 Apr 13. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.7b00638. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 28388030. *joint corresponding authors
Lee S, Mehta S*, Erickson D*. Two-Color Lateral Flow Assay for Multiplex Detection of Causative Agents Behind Acute Febrile Illnesses. Anal Chem. 2016 Sep 6;88(17):8359-63. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b01828. Epub 2016 Aug 8. PubMed PMID: 27490379. *joint corresponding authors