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VisuGen Global is pleased to announce that our first provisional patent has now been filed.
UNC Water Microbiology Conference 2017: May 15-17
VisuGen Global LLC Wins National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR Phase I Award

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VisuGen Global is pleased to announce that our first provisional patent has now been filed.

VisuGen Global is pleased to announce that our first provisional patent has now been filed.

The patent contains broad claims to protect our novel molecular approach to capture low copy molecular targets from large volumes of water and detect them using a cell phone reader with results uploaded to the cloud.

VisuGen Global LLC will be presenting our research at the upcoming UNC water microbiology conference on May 16th. We are also a sponsor of the meeting. See you there.!

 

 
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UNC Water Microbiology Conference 2017: May 15-17

UNC Water Microbiology Conference 2017: May 15-17

International Symposium on Health-Related Water Microbiology: May 15-19

http://waterinstitute.unc.edu/conferences/watermicro/

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Conference Side Event

Moving molecular and rapid water quality methods from research to widespread use

Co-conveners: Dr. John Gerdes (VisuGen Global LLC) and Dr. Rachel T. Noble (UNC Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences).

Molecular methods detect the nucleic acid of target organisms, rather than relying on growth as in culture-based methods, they potentially provide more rapid turnaround and superior sensitivity and specificity.  Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) has been adopted (EPA Method 1611 and 1609) for the detection of Enterococci but end-users have hesitated on implementation of the methods because standardization, hardware, controls and sample processing approaches continue to evolve. Furthermore, inhibition has posed a problem for certain water types such as stormwater and wastewater, so many water quality managers have hesitated to adopt the methods for all water quality testing.  More recently developed approaches exist that offer higher quantitation precision and are more tolerant of inhibitors such as droplet digital PCR (ddPCR). The method permits direct absolute quantitation without the need for a standard curve.

 

One limitation of molecular methods stems from the small reaction volumes of molecular approaches (less than 10 ul of analyzed material). This creates a macro to micro sample processing requirement.  Options for sample preparation typically involve some form of membrane filtration to capture and concentrate target organisms but the end-result concentration of the target also results in heightened molecules that interfere with DNA and RNA chemistry and amplification polymerase enyzme, both of which are required for qPCR or ddPCR. One way to avoid this might be to not use any amplification but use a direct probe hybridization approach.

 

Regardless of the limitations of rapid methods, they offer advantages that cannot be ignored. They are rapid, and increasingly cost-effective, and have the power to transform protection of public health in water. This session will provide a state of the science review of the issues and opportunities that occur when using molecular approaches for the detection of microbes using surface, recreational, drinking, wastewater, and stormwater samples. Presenters will discuss  the technical aspects of qPCR, ddPCR, sample processing interface options, and several new emerging microfluidics concentration approaches and non-amplification based molecular detection strategies. At the end of the side event, a panel of experts will be available for facilitated discussion.

 

8:30 am           Welcome and charge to participants (John Gerdes, VisuGen Global LLC)

 

8:40 am           Benefits and pitfalls to molecular approaches (Rachel Noble, UNC Chapel Hill `    Institute of Marine Sciences)

 

9:00 am           qPCR and the evolution of rapid EPA methods (Richard Haugland, USEPA)

 

9:20 am           ddPCR in water quality practice (John Griffith, SCCWRP)

 

9:40 am           Macro to Micro Interface-Existing Approaches (Andy Paige, Innovaprep)

 

10:00 am         Coffee Break

 

10:30 am         Implementing rapid molecular assays in tropical environments (Marek Kirs, University of Hawaii Water Resources Research Center)

 

10:50 am         A non-amplification molecular probe approach (John Gerdes, VisuGen Global)

 

11:10 am         2017 Review of the 2012 Recreational Water Quality Criteria (Sharon Nappier, US EPA)

 

11:20 am         Panel Discussion: Technical hurdles and scaling those hurdles for specific applications (Noble, Gerdes, Haugland, Griffith, Kirs, Page, Payne, Nappier)

 

 

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VisuGen Global LLC Wins National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR Phase I Award


For Immediate Release 09/12/16
Contact
John Gerdes 303-919-6018

VisuGen Global LLC Wins National Science Foundation (NSF) SBIR Phase I Award

Aurora, CO : VisuGen Global LLC has been awarded $222,236 to support the development of an “Environmental water on site microbial contaminant sensor.” The purpose of the proposal is to advance the development of VisuGen Global’s proprietary molecular approach for a rapid on-site test that will monitor E. coli from 100 milliliters of water in less than an hour.”NSF SBIR proposals undergo rigorous peer review and are highly competitive. Therefore, this award provides credence to the VisuGen approach as an innovative, transformational technology with potential for substantial commercial and/or societal benefits.” states John Gerdes, Ph.D. Founder of VisuGen Global.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is that the product developed will enable local and remote environmental water microbe detection using internet-enabled smart devices. Detection is on-site within 30 minutes to monitor water close to the time it is sampled compared to current methods that require sending the sample to a lab that conducts a test that takes 24 hours. The innovation involves a method to capture and concentrate genes from large volumes of water onto a unique binding material where they are counted. Clean water is critical to major economic sectors such as farm irrigation, livestock, food processing, and recreation beaches. E, coli testing is estimated to be a 1.2 billion dollar global market. The water test we will develop could be used in global settings and have a significant societal impact through improved water quality management especially in rural or developing country settings where is estimated that 780 million people consume unsafe water. The technical hurdle addressed which is finding low copies of bacteria present in a glass of water is not unique to water testing but is also an issue broadly anywhere pathogens or genes are the target of detection.

The technical objectives in this Phase I NSF research project are to advance our highly innovative technical approach for direct in the field detection of E. coli or Enterococcus contaminants in 100 milliliters of environmental water with results available in 30 minutes. These microbes are traditional indicator organisms that identify water with fecal contamination that could be unsafe. The specific objectives to be completed will confirm our innovative technical approach and produce a prototype flow through cassette where specific gene sequences are detected. Achieving detection of pathogens that frequently are present in low copy numbers in large volumes (100 milliliters of environmental water, 10 milliliters of blood, food processing wash water, etc.) is a common technical hurdle that limits assay sensitivity.

The innovative approach proposed provides a potential solution to this issue and further permits testing directly on site with a low cost, non-instrumented test that is easy to perform with result upload using a cell phone.

About VisuGen Global

VisuGen Global, LLC, founded by John Gerdes, PhD., is commercializing a unique approach for the detection of genes (molecular detection) to provide rapid results at point of use anywhere in the world. The technology under development overcomes the limitations of all current culture or current molecular methods for testing environmental water. The test will provide more real-time results to avoid costly food recalls and
reduce illness from exposure to contaminated water.

About H20Profile.com
The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) now requires farmers with annual revenues of $25,000 or more, to establish a Microbial Water Quality Profile (MWQP) for each untreated surface agricultural water source. The water quality profile is based on the levels of generic E. coli in the agricultural water. H20Profile.com was created by VisuGen Global to provide an easy to follow solution for farmers to sample, document, and securely store the required documentation to comply with this U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act (FDA-FSMA) produce rule.