Rapid Field Test for Iodine in Urine and Salt

Period of Performance: 08/15/2003 - 07/31/2004


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Portascience, Inc.
337 Tom Brown Road
Moorestown, NJ 08057
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are a range of health problems, which impact over 2 billion people. IDD covers a wide spectrum of clinical conditions, Goiter is the visible "marker condition" for more severe disorders. Some disorders are the result of compensation mechanisms, such as thyroid enlargement, early abortions, still births, increased infant mortality, mental and growth retardation. Some disorders are associated with permanent brain damage that occurs during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. The resulting clinical condition, cretism is irreversible and is the single most severe and dramatic manifestation of IDD. Iodine supplementation through salt fortification has shown to eliminate all deficient disorders from goiter through cretism. In several countries tremendous social and economic gains have resulted from the control of IDD. The World Bank has concluded that iodine supplementation is one of the interventions "that would have the highest cost-effectiveness of any health intervention available in the world today" (World Bank 1993). There is overwhelming evidence to prevent IDD by increasing iodine intake by populations at large. The need for a simple, inexpensive, semi-quantitative iodine test for urinary screen is acute and broadly based throughout the world. PortaScience has proposed the development of a disposable device for the measurement of iodide in salt solutions and urine that can be used in a clinical setting, in the field or at home. The proposed test in Phase II will have a mini column and reagent chambers all built in one piece of disposable cassette. The test weighs less than three ounces, can be stored and shipped at ambient temperature, and gives an accurate result. Phase I studies have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed method by removing interfering compounds in a single step, identifying a suitable membrane material, identifying a sensitive dye, and manually assembling test devices for testing urine that met Phase I precision and accuracy criteria.