1.Who are we? 2.What are we trying to do? 3.What problem do we solve? 4.How are we going to get it done? 5.The innovation of our project 6.Market overview 7.Who else is doing this? 8.What do we need to accomplish our goals? 9.SWOT Analysis 10.Timeline after the Giant Jamboree
From the earliest stages of our project, we conceptualized our idea in a way that would go beyond the competition and have a real impact on the environment and public health. We put our efforts not only in the biological aspects, but also in the development of other aspects of the project in a manner that was essential to setting up a business. We were fully conscious of the importance of protecting intellectual property when initiating a business. We benefited from having the expertise of three team members, studying intellectual property, who advised us throughout our project. First, we conducted surveys and had several meetings with professionals to evaluate the needs of the public, assess the demand for our device, and the usefulness of the services we would provide. After establishing there was a real need for our system and a potential demand from experts in the field, we then built a functional device that included a mosquito trap, a detection patch, and an analysis system. Next, we set up a complete implementation strategy for our system evaluating the staffing needs, the cost, the targeted public, the competition, the safety measures, and the communication to the population about our system. Finally, to ensure that our device was fully functional we developed the operational application that maps the presence of infected mosquitoes. Finally, to ensure that our device was fully functional we developed the operational application that maps the presence of infected mosquitoes. All of this could not have been possible without the help of our sponsors to whom we frequently pitched ideas and presented our project. They gave us the financial support we needed to complete our project.
We are a team of dedicated, passionate, and hardworking students. We are a uniquely comprised of 19 students from different fields of study (i.e. law, design, biology, chemistry, and physics) and from different institutions (Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris Diderot University, Paris Sud, ESPCI, ETSL and ENSCI). We are a team that understands the importance of collaborating to ensure that we have acquired the proper knowledge to produce a successful product and to create a sustainable business. We utilized the skills and expertise of all those involved to make our project the best possible. The multidisciplinary approach of our team allowed us to successfully carry out the various aspects of our project as well as provide an opportunity for us to constantly learn from each other (i.e., designers learning biology, biologist learning law). We are a team that leaned on one another, growing and evolving as our project progressed.
The goal of our project was to develop a system that could be used to help address the global impact vector-borne diseases has on the environment and public health. Vector-borne pathogens are important emerging viruses. They are able to infect mammalian hosts, such as humans, causing a variety of diseases. Unfortunately, for many of these diseases no vaccines or cures exist so we decided to concentrate our efforts on the vectors themselves, in an attempt to prevent the diseases from occurring. To do so, we focused on mosquitoes, which are one of the more dangerous vectors transmitting a variety of pathogens. More specifically, our project’s aim was to provide a map of these vectors in order to focus current efforts of prevention (spraying of insecticides) more efficient, specifically targeting regions only indicated having infected mosquitoes. This will reduce the over spraying of insecticides, which not only impacts the environment but causes resistance in mosquitoes; making it harder to eliminate them when needed. Our system focuses efforts on regions that are infested, reducing spraying to very specific targeted areas. To know more about our project click on your left.
Again, our device addresses the environmental and public health concern that is associated with over spraying insecticides and the inability to determine infected areas prior to symptoms presenting in humans. We have created a user friendly, safe, and practical system capable of providing different information than what currently may exist. Our system has the following features that solve our described problem: Identification of infectious mosquito regions Traps for mosquitoes already exists, however, none are capable of identifying if the mosquitoes captured are infected or not. With our analysis kit, the operator will be able to tell if the mosquitoes coming from a certain region are carrying viruses. This will enable authorities to target only those specific areas for spraying insecticides and more efforts can be centered on preventing the population from becoming infected. This addresses the environmental and public health burden that presently exists when dealing with vectors and the diseases they transmit. Additionally, the mapping system that we are proposing will provide real time data, contributing to easier more accurate assessments of areas in question. The data generated could predict and prevent epidemics. Easier product, greater reach We designed our device so it would only require minimum training and one single operator to manipulate the device. This will enable assess to more regions (i.e. remote areas, developing countries) with limited resources and personnel. Everyone could be trained in a short period of time to use the device. We wanted our device to be easy to use and require minimum scientific background, therefore, we had to think about safety. For instance, all the liquids that will be used will be stored at the tip of the pump where an absorbent material turns liquids into a gel, acting almost like a diaper. This part will then be thrown away in a biohazard waste container and replaced. We also thought about the safety regarding our application. Only the local administrators with a personal account will be able to enter the results and communicate with collaborators. We also implemented a security component protecting data manipulation within Mos(kit)o device. We created tutorials to share how to use the trap, the analysis kit and the data mapping system. Customizable feature This solves the problem of identifying more than one virus during one test which reduces time, cost, and resources. It also allows for quick, reliable assessments of multiple viruses that could be circulating within a region in one test. This is something that is not currently on the market.
We first created the cellulose patch, which is the core component of our kit. To do so we designed a fusion protein, which has never been synthesized. Our novel protein has three domains: Si4 which is able to bio-condense silicic acid into silica, CBPa which makes it possible for cellulose to bind, and BPa that makes it possible to bind antibodies. We synthesized this fusion protein in the lab and since it has never been done, it is our scientific innovation. Then, with 3D printing we created a mosquito trap and an analysis kit. We tested our patch, in the lab, with infected mosquitoes and our trap’s ability to contain mosquitoes. For one hundred of mosquitoes, ninety-eight of them remained in the trap. We did this experiment several times and the results were the same. However, we will nonetheless have to redo it again in the actual field conditions. The next step will be to test the analysis kit with the patch under real conditions, for instance in infected areas. Finally, we created the database application. It will automatically generate a mapping of the results with clear visualization of the location of infected mosquitoes. The website is already online. It is composed of a public area where everybody can consult the maps and be given prevention advice. There is a secure part that is only accessible by local administrators to enter the results.
Innovation is the gamble of launching new products, new services or new sources of raw material or energy. It may also be new forms of organization, new methods and processes. So we can give this classic definition of innovation: "Integrate the best of knowledge in a creative product or service that allows to go further in meeting people." Before asking us if our project meets a market demand it is important to answer this question: is that our project is innovative? Our project is at the interface between biology and design, since we have both designed: a novel patch with a fusion protein having the ability to bind to cellulose, catalyze the reaction of biosilification and also be able to bind to specific antibodies. And we successfully integrate our patch in a fully engineered system for the specific detection of arboviruses with the creation of a functional trap and easy analysis system used.
What market research have we done to be sure that anyone wants to buy this product or service at this price - or at all? We met with several professionals to: • Discuss our vision and project goals • Learn from their expertise and use that knowledge to further develop our project • Make contacts for potential future collaborations • Assess the need for a device such as the one we proposed From the discussions with professionals (see below for names), we realized the demand for our system and we are even more confident that it would be a good business opportunity. We had several examples provided by professionals that demonstrated the utility of our system. We discussed several situations and contexts that our device could be used from surveillance in regions where there are hospitals treating infected patients to assessing suspected areas that may have infected mosquitoes. We were even told that if our system were fully functioning, they would be willing to pilot it in the field because the features and capabilities we provide are better and more efficient than what they are currently using to trap or assess/address infected areas. Additionally, the customizable feature of our patch makes our device appealing to professionals that currently conduct surveillance of vector-borne pathogens because they could test for more than one pathogen at a time, reducing the workload, resources, and cost. Market research with professionals: • Civic drone Civic Drone is a French company that specializes in designing and manufacturing non-military drones. Among other applications, their drones are currently being used to monitor nuclear power plants. In July, we met with the CEO of the company, Mr. Edouard Guilhot-Gaudeffroy and one of the company’s R&D engineers. They shared with us their expertise about drone operations and running a company. We discussed with them what could be the best drone for transporting the traps in areas with limited access. They were willing to collaborate with us if we decided to put our traps in drones. • Interdepartemental mosquitoes control board (EID) in France The EID (Entente Interdépartementale de Démoustication / Interdepartmental agreement for mosquito control on the Mediterranean coast) is in charge of the fight against mosquito epidemics, which is recognized as a mission of public interest for the Ministry of Health in France. Therefore, EID is acting by delegation of authority, in a similar level as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US. We had a skype meeting and email exchanges with Dr. Gregory Lambert, a medical coordinator and entomologist at EID. These interviews allowed us to gather the opinion of field experts and to design our project so that it would best address the needs of professionals. This input enabled us to better take into account the mosquito's lifestyle and optimize our device’s safety features with regard to local populations. Dr. Lambert's professional opinion on the current methods used in the field, the materials for trapping and detection, safety procedures, protocols, coordination with the state and the health representatives, prevention of the public, data processing, and much more was extremely helpful while working on the practical application of our project in the field. Every aspect we discussed was an opportunity for us to both enhance our project and to benefit from constructive criticism about our device. Dr. Lambert told us that the method they used has been adapted to the current situation in France, but that our Mos(kit)o solution could be used in addition, or even completely replace theirs in the future, because it would be more precise and more adapted to such epidemics. He proposed to test our device in the field as soon as we develop a functioning kit, and he said that he was eager to stay informed about our future improvements. •City of New Orleans Mosquito & Termite Control Board During the Zika Summit in Paris, we had the opportunity to present our project at the poster sessions. We met Dr. Claudia Riegel, Director of the City of New Orleans Mosquito & Termite Control Board and she engaged in an enthusiastic discussion on our project ideas in detail with us. She described to us the current mosquito issues New Orleans is facing. Since then, we have been in contact with her pertaining to a potential future collaboration where we could introduce our device in the field. We are currently processing reciprocal non-disclosure agreements. • Rathenau Instituut We also collaborated during the project with the Rathenau Instituut in order to do an application and techno-moral scenario, which allowed us to think of real life contexts and problems that may arise using our device in different settings. This application scenario relates how our device will be implemented in the real world.
No one is currently doing this in the manner that we have researched and developed. In the current market, traps for mosquitoes have been designed (for instance the trap made by Biogent) but none of them have the ability to tell if the mosquitoes, which have been captured, are infected by some vector-borne pathogens. Maps of vector-borne pathogens such as dengue or yellow fever already exist, but they are not related to one particular device. The main advantage of our device is that it combines three functions, which already exist separately, in one safe, user-friendly tool. Additionally, the customizable features of the patch that allows the operator to test for more than one pathogen at a time is a feature that makes our device different. Thus, we will be the first on the market with a product with its features/functions.
With our participation to iGEM competition we have already raised funds so we could produce our protein and create a prototype of our device. After iGEM we will need: - to have access to infected areas to test if our product works in real conditions - to develop an industrial process for the creation of our protein in order to make it cheaper as possible - to develop the device according to industrial processes
Strenghts: • Our product has modular design, and can be modified according to specific needs. • We offer a complete solution against the spread of vector-borne diseases. With the use of a novel trap, an analyze kit and a database that aims to identify in real time the distributions of infected mosquitoes in specific regions of the world. • There are maps telling what is the repartition of viruses such as Dengue or Yellow fever are already existing, but they are not updated in real time. With our application these type of maps will be daily-updated. • Our devise requires minimum of training; everyone could be trained in a short period of time to use the device. It would not be people with a lot of training and formations in the biology areas. • We thought about safety, so all the liquids that will be used will be stored at the tip of the pump where an absorbent material turns liquids into a gel, acting almost like a diaper. This part will then be thrown away in a biohazard waste container and replaced. • We also thought about the safety regarding our application. Only the local administrators with a personal account will be able to enter the results and communicate with collaborators. We then have implemented the security component of data manipulation in Mos(kit)o. Weakness • There are already on the market, traps systems that are located in strategic areas and have permission from the local authorities to put there system. It will therefore be able to prove that our project has also its place in the market • The features of each target are still not clear, and there we will need to build a "biological bank" to gather this information. • We need to make engineering tests to ensure the viability of our KIT. • It is also necessary to do our field testing to finalize our project. Opportunities: • We created a new fusion protein capable of binding to specific antibodies that can be flexible according to the needs. Our patch can be flexible/modular according to the needs, so we can match the system to many other methods which are in use today. • Laboratory diagnostic tests for arboviruses are performed only by National Reference Centre for arboviruses (CNR), we can consider working with these centers recognized for optimized efficiency of laboratory diagnostic tests. • Collaborations between different aspects of science can occur with our system, uniting synthetic biology with other fields of medicine. Threats • Our system relies on intensive research that need to be done. • Competitors