Critical need for this Technology
Laboratory testing does not scale. It is too costly, too complicated, and too slow. It requires centralized testing infrastructure filled with sophisticated instrumentation that require a high degree of technical expertise to operate. In practice, this means you pay upwards of hundreds of dollars and wait days, if not weeks, for a single piece of data from the past. These characteristics prevent high-resolution data collection and risk mitigation for community and environmental health threats when and where they are needed.
Supplemental Need for this Technology
Legionella is a slow growing genus of bacteria that proliferates in building water systems. When aerosolized and inhaled, Legionella can cause Legionnaire’s Disease (LD) – an often-fatal pneumonia that disproportionately impacts the elderly and those with comprised health. LD outbreaks are incredibly costly to organizations—often resulting in large legal settlements—and carry enormous reputational risk. While traditional testing for Legionella involves a week-long incubation in a laboratory incubator, Stemloop’s simple point-of-use kit for Legionella surveillance provides actionable information in minutes, thereby allowing for effective water management.
Potential CO2 Reduction
Delivering test samples from distributed locations to a centralized laboratory causes greenhouse gas emissions. On-site testing, enabled by Stemloop’s technology, would avoid these emissions. However, the relatively small market for this service and product results in relatively small GHG emissions reduction impact.
- Laboratory-based testing
- Unreliable or difficult-to-use on-site testing
Non-medical laboratory testing is over a $20B market in the US alone. Environmental testing comprises $8B of that market and is expected to grow above GDP growth in the coming years, driven by heightened awareness of health threats, a fast-changing climate and growing population, increased regulations and protections for the public and the environment, and a desire for corporate social responsibility.
Stemloop is comprised of world leading innovators in cell-free synthetic biology.
R & D Status of Project
Stemloop is advancing cell-free sensors and diagnostics developed at Northwestern University, including the ROSALIND platform for the detection of pharmaceuticals, human health biomarkers, disinfection byproducts and heavy metals. Our current focus is on improving the sensitivity and specificity of our biosensors to meet customer requirements.
- Khalid K. Alam, Ph.D. – Founder and CEO
- Julius B. Lucks, Ph.D. – Cofounder
- Michael C. Jewett, Ph.D. – Cofounder
- Anne E. d’Aquino, Ph.D. – Scientist
- R C. Baer, Ph.D. – Scientist
- Mary Elizabeth Adler – Technician
- Dick T. Co, Ph.D. – Advisor
Social challenge: UN Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good health and well-being), 6 (Clean water and sanitation), 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), and 11 (sustainable cities and and communities).