Charles Henry (Colorado State University)

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Location: 127 Nieuwland Science Hall

Abstract:  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious diseases accounted for millions of deaths worldwide. These
bacterial and viral infections came from a wide range of sources including contaminated food, water, and
contact with infected individuals. While these cases have been a significant burden, the world has feared
the rise of a new pandemic like the Spanish Flu of 1918. We have now realized these fears with the rapid
spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections around the globe. At present, more than 200M cases have been
reported with more than 4M known fatalities worldwide. The economic and social losses have also been
devastating. Diagnostics play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 with their ability to identify
infected individuals. The most common diagnostic assays are sensitive and specific but require expensive
laboratories and highly trained individuals for operation increasing the time to get results and overall cost.
Rapid diagnostic tests are an alternative that can be done outside of traditional laboratories but to date
have largely under performed due to their limited complexity. Over the last decade, the Henry lab has
been working to develop low-cost microfluidic devices for analysis of pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
This talk will cover our recent research in this area leading to demonstration of how we are applying what
we’ve learned to develop new systems to aid in the fight against the pandemic.

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