Team:JNFLS China/HP/Gold

2016.igem.org/Team:JNFLS_China

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Visiting elders/staffs in Tiansi Nursing Home

Stakeholders usually can offer us unique approach to rethinking and reevaluating our design and prospect product. Through our visit, the need of developing more understandable system was bring about, which prompt our Device 2.0. Public acceptance of synthetic biology products and our proposed diagnosis method were also being evaluated.

From Bench to Life: Bring Proposed Diagnosis Method into Real Life

We mainly use microplate readerfor data acquisition. When we using microplate reader, we should set some obbligato parameters, such as “excitation wavelength”, “emission wavelength”, and the like. It is necessary to set up correct parameters to have some reliable data.

Though compared to traditional diagnosis methods accessible to publics, our prospective detection method would be cheaper and easier, we still need blood from individuals to draw a conclusion.

However, when we introduced the background of disease and how important if we can diagnosis early, they accepted the way to detect it well. They also suggested that we can design a physical model analogous to glucometer, which really spark us for future potential application equipment (Fig. 1).

Device 1.0 to Device 2.0: From Negative to Positive Correlation

According to our initial version of system, when miRNA chosen as biomarker reached a detectable level in the bloodstream, fluorescence emitted by GFP would be interrupted and thereby the fluorescence would be disappeared.

However, such a negative correlation, though having the lowest cost and most likely to be put into mass production, the negative results come from our design is hard to be understood by elders when we tried to explain how to interprete results from our system to elders.

With the hope to make our results easier to be understood to them, our second version of system was designed (Fig. 2):

Improved system converts the relationship between fluorescence and miRNA present- now the “green light” means you need to pay attention! Positive correlations between GFP and biomarker miRNA is thereby established.

Thanks to this visit, which help us improve our system design, as well as they offered us a possible analogs-glucometer to study in the future (Fig. 3)!

Exhibition at Shandong Science & Technology Museum (SSTM)


Public awareness of Alzheimer is our final goal to make our think and design to be real. Out of that purpose, exhibitions were held at Shandong Science & Technology Museum. Since we began with introduction of Alzheimer in previous activities, this time we want to see how well people are familiar with Alzheimer, and how synthetic biology and our project can make life better. We also reevaluated the chance that our project can come into real with statistic data we gained during this activity (Fig. 4).

Public Survey of Awareness of Alzheimer Disease (AD)

We introduced the mechanism underlying our project- synthetic biology and iGEM to people filled the survey, out of the purpose to make synthetic biology and our competition more well known, as well as to investigate whether they still willing to try after they know what they would use. Surprisingly, most of people, nearly 98% of them still willing to try our new diagnosis method, and the fear of genetically modified products is go away: now they know that evolution and natural selection procedure are what we mimic, it is harmless to publics if we use it (Fig. 5).

Steps from into Real Life- What Else to Do for Wide Separation of Our Design

We investigated in depth with the family which had AD patient in their family to gain more aspects information: Patient ages, education level, time of illness and diagnosis method were investigated with these family. We will discuss these in depth to analysis what actions needed to take to make our project have higher possibility to be used in daily life and achieve early diagnosis of AD.

  • Diagnosis Method
  • Currently, tests applied to diagnosis AD are not covered in annual body check. If we can make our project come true and persuade community hospital to set it as a default choice, much higher percentage of person get the test can be expected.

    According to the age of patients they have in family, these results do confirm the information we get from internet; older person get a higher chance to gain AD due to nerve degradation. To reduce cost, different frequency of AD test can be set according to age would be more economic and thereby easier to be accepted by publics.

  • Patient Ages
  • Currently, tests applied to diagnosis AD are not covered in annual body check. If we can make our project come true and persuade community hospital to set it as a default choice, much higher percentage of person get the test can be expected.

    According to the age of patients they have in family, these results do confirm the information we get from internet; older person get a higher chance to gain AD due to nerve degradation. To reduce cost, different frequency of AD test can be set according to age would be more economic and thereby easier to be accepted by publics.

  • Education Level
  • Education level can also act as criteria when we set differential frequency of AD test since people with higher education level got a lower chance to gain AD. This result also suggests the importance of setting our AD test as default and covered in medical insurance- the chance of get AD, contrary to the medical resources different education level people can access to, which indicates that higher education level person get more chance to get more medical resources, people with high school or lower education level would desperately need a low cost method to get through it.

  • Time of Illness
  • Though disappointing, but currently people have more than 5 years’ history of AD and still alive is not common: they usually cannot survive that long. Late diagnosis and rapid progression of AD due to late awareness are the main cause for this phenomenon.

    We really need an easy accessible diagnosis method to help us achieve early diagnosis (Fig. 6)!

Re-discussion with Our PI: Born of Device 3.0

After all these activities, with the more mature thought about where our design would be used, we discussed with our PI, Professor Tian again to find out if there is any technique problems may hindered our actual application. Therefore, Professor Tian guided us to design the version 3.0 of our system to achieve easier observation of our results (Fig. 7).

Detailed information at: http://2016.igem.org/Team:JNFLS_China/Design

Write at End

We held lots of activities and interview, as well as visiting in order to gain more information from stakeholders, publics, as well as scientists to perfection our project and discuss the possibility of success as detailed as possible. However, we do know that more factors and further design are still needed in order to achieve our dream. Our activities, as a good start, pointing out the further directions for us, and we will definitely continue working towards it.