NIH Research Festival
Partnership for Research on Vaccines and Infectious Diseases in Liberia (PREVAIL) conducts collaborative biomedical and public-health research to advance science, strengthen health policy and practice, and improve the health of Liberians and people worldwide. Performance of clinical research assays to support PREVAIL requires ultra-pure laboratory-grade water, the shipping of which from the United States to Liberia has been affected by supply-chain challenges and has cost up to $115,000 per year. Towards building a sustainable and cost-effective approach, a nonconventional and low-cost water-filtration system was installed at the Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR) laboratory to generate laboratory-grade water. Two polymer double-walled 3,000-gallon tanks were installed in a concrete shelter to store water that was purchased from a drinking water company in a nearby town and brought in by water trucks. Electric pressure-boosting water pumps sent water from the tanks to the filtration system, which was fitted with ultraviolet lamps for irradiation treatment. The filtered and irradiated water was distributed to the LIBR laboratory. Within the laboratory, the water was further treated by a Milli-Q purification system. Preliminary results from Filovirus Animal Non-Clinical Group (FANG) Ebola virus immunoassay experiments using each water source yielded comparable results. This work demonstrates that laboratory-grade water can be generated locally in a low-resource setting by installing appropriately designed water-filtration systems, thereby providing a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to shipping water from outside of the country.
Scientific Focus Area: Clinical Research
This page was last updated on Monday, September 25, 2023