Integrating multiple Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) assays with multiplexed optical detection systems for ultra-high throughput detection of emerging biosecurity threats
Avicena is an award-winning Australian MedTech biosecurity company with a ground-breaking, rapid, pandemic-scale surveillance screening instrument to facilitate the detection of pathogens, including COVID-19. Saliva sampling and anonymous ID tracking takes less than 30 seconds. Each Sentinel instrument can process more than 90,000 samples daily with data available in under 30 minutes.
This project requires a combined engineering and molecular biologist team.
Engineering aspect of the project entails developing optical system solutions involving industrial cameras for the detection and analysis of biochemistry assays using fluorometry in innovative ways for scalable commercial application. Whilst first commercial solution has already been developed for against different targets in customised plates, the new research will explore techniques for multiplexing using different wavelengths, different optical techniques and different vision processing algorithms to allow multiple pathogen assays to run in parallel. Engineering involves optical design, electronic application, image processing and software processing, typically within a Python development environment.
Molecular biology aspect of the project involves molecular assay design and development, bioinformatics analysis, data collation and analysis, and critical thinking in experimentation to generate compatible assays for multiplex detection with a high sensitivity and specificity.
Close collaboration with the Avicena's Molecular Diagnostics team and Engineering teams will support the project throughout whilst building upon established techniques in place today. A great opportunity to apply knowledge in the areas of physics, biochemistry and engineering to solve problems with a true commercial application resulting in high impact on health and biosafety.
Ideal candidates would have the following skillsets.
Engineering team member:
Graduate/ completing postgraduate degree in physics or electronics with skills in scientific research and programming
Experience in optics will be advantageous
Molecular Diagnostics team member:
Completing a PhD in molecular biology or biochemistry with extensive laboratory experience in molecular assays, including PCR and working within a PC2 environment (eg. RNA purification in biosafety cabinet)
Bioinformatics and molecular pathology experience are desirable but not essential
3 months placement
The University of Western Australia
Ophthalmology and Visual Science