Looking for collaborator: Bearded Monster

10 Jun 2016

Written by Dan Botham

I have always loved science. I watched the Horizon programs with great excitement, and got thinking. I came up with ideas for each of the categories.

When it was announced that ‘Antibiotics’ had won, I registered and started to research my ideas a little more thoroughly. I felt that there were already similar products already in existence that did the job better, faster, and/or cheaper, so put it on the backburner.

That was until I received an e-mail asking how my project was coming along. I explained that I had decided against pursuing any of the ideas, although I did explain what they were. I explained that although I felt that one of my ideas might be worth pursuing, I would require some help.

My background is in Radiography rather than Pathology or Microbiology. I am therefore looking for a collaborator to help develop my idea further. I am ideally looking for a collaborator with access to laboratory facilities, and a background in microbiology.

When coming up with ideas the first thing I did was look at the main differences between bacteria and viruses. One of the main differences is size. Bacteria are typically much larger than viruses. I wanted to develop a product that could take advantage of this difference.

Semipermeable membranes are already used in a process called ‘microfiltration’ which is used to sterilize fluids. Microfiltration typically uses pore sizes in the range of 0.1 to 10 µm. This is small enough to remove all the bacteria and most of the viruses. I believe that given the right pore size, it should be possible filter out all of the bacteria, but none of the viruses from a sample. This is of course just the first step. From here I still need to develop a way of determining if there are any pathogens left in the samples post filtration.

Bearded Monster’s entry

If you’re interested in working with Dan or finding out more about his idea, please get in touch with him.