The University of Massachusetts Amherst

At Home Detection of Antineoplastic Drugs and Hazardous Metabolites in Body Fluids

Date Funded: 
Jan 15, 2019
Funding Organization: 
Oncology Nursing Foundation

Dr. Rachel Walker and Co-PI Dr. Sarah Perry of the department of Chemical Engineering have received a two-year Oncology Nursing Research Grant through an unrestricted grant from the Oncology Nursing Society/Sigma Foundation and Oncology Nursing Foundation Endowment to investigate at home detection of antineoplastic drugs and hazardous metabolites in body fluids. The long-term goal of this project is to improve patients’ and caregivers’ ability to self-manage exposure risks by developing a low-cost device for home use that can detect antineoplastic agents and their hazardous metabolites in body fluids such as urine, semen and vaginal fluid, and breastmilk.

The specific aims of this study are to:

1) Fabricate device prototypes for at-home detection of chemotherapeutics Doxorubicin and Methotrexate, and their toxic metabolites, in body fluids.

2) Evaluate sensitivity of device prototypes to detect these drugs and their toxic metabolites in water and simulated urine, in a controlled lab setting.

3) Gather and descriptively categorize expert perspectives on both human factors (potential users and user expectations) relevant to the design of the next generation of device prototypes, and the important considerations for the next steps in the design and testing of working prototypes.