Marpe Holdings LLC

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In partnership with Stellenbosch University and Katleho Biomedical we have advanced a patented Piezoelectric Nanosensor wherein an antibody-treated scaffold attracts bacteria, which thereby deforms the nanowires, creating an easily measured and painless piezoelectric charge. The implications are significant; especially in situations where early bacterial detection saves lives (eg, in post-operative hospital patients). Requiring no separate power source, external or implanted sensors will permit fast ad-hoc detection of any kind of bacteria including the hospital's own grim reaper, staphylococcus aureus (SA). This reduces post-surgical risks, as time-to-detection of SA infections is greatly reduced. Another benefit of self-powering is the ability to send information to almost any device, making the reading and monitoring of information easy and mobile. Inclusion of “Resistive” nanosensors permits both the detection and quantification of bacterial presence but also provides replaceable scaffolds, allowing the pathologist to test for the presence and concentration of different bacterial and viral agents as well as chronic inflammation. One drop of blood or sputum may be analyzed within 15 minutes.

Large scale production costs would be under $50 per unit with a corresponding application cost estimated at 50 cents per assay. We have also developed a biological response agent that promotes the immune system to vigorously respond to pathological assaults both prophylactically as well as therapeutically in a manner that could augment and possibly replace antibiotic usage. Collectively, this combined approach will be able to identify the presence of a bacterial threat, discriminate the need/efficacy for antibiotic therapy while also providing a path wherein a non-antibiotic alternative means to facilitate recovery is provided. These advances not only address the siren call for this award but will ease the suffering of those in need.