Monday, January 10, 2011

Lab-on-a-chip May Bring Blood Testing To Smartphones Soon.

#Lab-on-a-chip & #Smartphone #BloodTest
A team of Engineering research at University of Rhode Island has developed a system that uses just a pinprick of blood in a portable device that provides results in less than 30 minutes. Usually a vial of blood is sent to a laboratory and it took a several days for results to arrive.

"This development is a big step in point-of-care diagnostics, where testing can be performed in a clinic, in a doctor's office, or right at home, No longer will patients have to wait anxiously for several days for their test results. They can have their blood tested when they walk into the doctor's office and the results will be ready before they leave."said Mohammad Faghri, URI professor of mechanical engineering and the lead researcher on the project.
With the new lab-on-a-chip technology, a drop of blood is placed on a plastic polymer cartridge smaller than a credit card and inserted into a shoebox-sized biosensor containing a miniature spectrometer and piezoelectric micro-pump. The blood travels through the cartridge in tiny channels 500 microns wide to a detection site where it reacts with preloaded reagents enabling the sensor to detect certain biomarkers of disease.
The test will cost only $1.50, the cost of the plastic cartridge and reagents.
Mobile Telemedicine: A further miniaturization of the invention that can be adapted as a smartphone application. By embedding the biosensor in the cartridge and using the computer power of the phone, as well as its wireless communication capabilities, Faghri believes that patients may be able to conduct the tests themselves and have the results transmitted immediately to their doctor's office via their phone. Among many other benefits, this should help to significantly reduce health care costs.

"We are already making progress on many of the steps toward the next generation of the system, and it won't be long before we can begin to commercialize it," Faghri said.

University of Rhode Island Engineers Develop Lab-on-a-chip For Fast, Inexpensive Blood Tests That Also Might Come To Smartphones Soon


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