Synthetic Biology Based Diagnostic Assay

Driver’s line up for COVID-19 testing in Montgomery County, PA – Photo Credit: US. Air National Guard photograph by Senior Airman Wil Acosta


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent Pending (Not Yet Published)


Claudia Gentry-Weeks
Christie Peebles
Charles Henry
William Schountz

At A Glance

​Researchers at Colorado State University have developed a novel rapid, point-of-care diagnostic assay that requires minimal expertise and equipment to perform, having application across many infectious and non-infectious agents, utilizing synthetic biology.  The paper-based assay uses gene circuits to detect various targets in saliva and oral /nasal swabs.  Results are obtained in less than an hour.

Immediate application for the device includes COVID-19 detection.

For more details, please contact our office.

Licensing Director

Steve Foster

Reference No.:  2021-009


Current diagnostic assays have become quite advanced in many ways but rely on very traditional biological reagents, like antibodies, for biomarker detection. Synthetic biology has been identified as way to either enhance current approaches or develop completely innovative solutions to current diagnostic assays. Despite the recognition, very few groups in the world have made the leap to include synthetic biology in low-cost assays.

  • highly portable
  • no equipment is required to perform the test
  • device is highly stable
  • components of test are readily available and inexpensive
  • antibodies are not required
  • high specificity and sensitivity
  • anyone can perform the test
  • can be rapidly scaled
  • can be used in lower income regions or countries
  • rapid results provided in 1 hour or less
  • results can be read and recorded using a smartphone
  • Easily and quickly modified for detection of other viruses and microbes in a span of 1 week.
  • viral infections
  • bacterial infections
  • Immediate application for COVID-19

Last updated: September 2020

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