Integrated Human Practices
Our project was inspired and informed by one of our team member’s work in Kenyan maternity clinics,
where her interviews and conversations revealed a serious shortage of essential medicines like oxytocin.
Our yeast-based oxytocin detection system was designed to help clinics test existing oxytocin supplies
and determine medication quality before purchasing potentially expired medications. Further conversations
with local entrepreneurs in the industrial biotech space (New Harvest and Living Ink) helped shaped our final hardware deliverable,
which could be used for a variety of yeast-based synthetic biology detection and delivery systems for use
and deployment in resource-constrained areas. The yeast dryer we built is designed to simplify implementation of our
oxytocin diagnostic system by drying yeast into shippable, temperature-stable packets, similar to baker’s yeast,
that can be easily reconstituted on-site. The initial motivation for our project and our continued inspiration
is the potential to integrate low-cost, accessible bio-inspired systems into existing human-practices to improve health outcomes.