The DoD requires timely and comprehensive threat detection to support overall readiness, counter the spread of disease, and promote stabilization missions. State of the art diagnostic and biosurveillance systems are unable to keep pace with disease outbreaks and fail to support decision-making at the time and place of need. The “Detect It with Gene Editing Technologies” (DIGET) program aims to leverage advances in gene editing technologies to develop field-forward diagnostic and biosurveillance technologies that enable detection of any threat, anytime, anywhere.
To achieve its goal, DIGET performers will design, develop, prototype, and deploy two novel nucleic acid detection devices: 1) a disposable point-of-need diagnostic for up to 10 pathogens and host biomarkers, and 2) a massively multiplexed detection (MMD) device for 1,000 or more targets. Both devices must be simple to operate, low-cost, and rapidly reconfigurable to provide high-impact, high-quality, and trusted information that enhances decision-making. If successful, the disposable point-of-need device will improve the speed and efficacy of triage and treatment and enhance the standard of care for the military and public health domains in austere environments. The MMD device will enable early threat detection, assess disease severity, and improve situational awareness. The MMD platform will also provide actionable data for biosurveillance efforts such as characterization of known and emergent pathogens in circulation to inform countermeasure deployment.
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