Strawberry brings exciting innovation to the sexually transmitted infection (STI)-diagnostics industry, in line with the priorities of the World Health Organisation and NSW Health. Our multi-disciplinary design combines the benefits of rapid multi-testing with the reliability of laboratory-standard testing, packed within a purposeful branding strategy to bring STI testing to the modern day. Genetics and virology have been harnessed as natural, sophisticated solutions to simplifying the testing process for three major STIs; chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis. Bacteriophage are a class of virus that must infect a host cell to survive. Through evolution they have developed the ability to infect bacterial cells with accuracy and precision, hijack their cellular machinery and replicate. It is this quality that Strawberry utilises to identify our target STIs. We propose a modified bacteriophage, termed a phagosensor, that is transfected with uniquely coloured fluorescent reporter gene that activates after replication and can be visually identified following expulsion from the host cell. The fluorescent progeny indicate the presence of their respective STIs, allowing for rapid and reliable STI testing in the palm of the user’s hands.
At our display you have the chance to view and handle a model of the device, and to speak with our team who will be delighted to answer any questions!