Equine veterinarians need an easy way to identify and count parasite eggs in fecal samples. With the Poop2Proof app, they have results in less than five minutes. 

generic cell phoneVeterinarian Martin Nielsen, a researcher for CAFE's Department of Veterinary Science, teamed up with adjunct faculty member and biochemist Paul Slusarewicz and Eric Hauck, an entrepreneur working with veterinarians on new products. 

“Paul had some ideas of how we could biochemically stain and detect parasite eggs within a sample, so we tried it out,” Nielsen explained. 

The team secured initial funding and then a Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that allowed them to proceed. The egg-staining protein is made in the UK College of Medicine's Department of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry with the help of student interns. 

The system consists of a sample prep unit, a reagent dispenser unit, and an imaging unit. Veterinarians install the app on their mobile device. The app generates a picture of the samples with all the eggs circled. Nielsen said veterinarian response has been overwhelming. 

“A large animal health company licensed the technology from us. They are looking to provide it in their product line for companion animals,” Nielsen said. “Meanwhile, we are developing a product for equine usage.” 

—Aimee Nielson