University of Rhode Island researchers
have developed a lab-on-a-chip device capable of offering blood test results in
under 30 minutes.
Faghri, study leader and a professor of mechanical engineering at the
University of Rhode Island, along with a team of researchers from the
university, have created a portable device that has the potential to eliminate
the need for laboratory use when seeking blood test results.
blood tests taken today require a patient to fill a vial or more of blood that
is then sent to a laboratory. It could take several days before results are
received, making this process a bit lengthy and expensive.
the University of Rhode Island researchers have created a lab-on-a-chip device
that only requires a drop of blood, and can deliver results in less than 30
minutes. In addition, the device is small and portable. It consists of a
plastic polymer cartridge that is the size of a credit card, and a biosensor
that is the size of a shoebox.
development is a big step in point-of-care diagnostics, where testing can be
performed in a clinic, doctor's office, or right at home," said Faghri.
"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."
this, a drop of blood is set onto a plastic polymer cartridge. The cartridges were
originally designed to detect C-reactive proteins (CRP) in the blood for risk
assessment of peripheral vascular and cardiovascular diseases, but are now
capable of detecting biomarkers for other diseases. The cartridge is then put
into a biosensor, which contains a piezoelectric micro-pump
and a miniature spectrometer. The blood then flows through channels that are
about 500 microns wide until it reaches a detection site where a sensor can
identify biomarkers of a disease while the blood reacts with preloaded
addition to being fast, small and portable, the lab-on-a-chip test is also
inexpensive compared to other blood test methods. This test costs about $3,200
for the sensor, and $1.50 for each additional test to replace the cartridge and
step is to work on a new generation of the lab-on-a-chip system, which will
provide even more portability for reduced costs. Faghri sees the next
generation as being a hand-held device, then eventually a smartphone application where the
biosensor will be inserted into the cartridge and the processing power of the
phone will be used to generate results.
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,"
to the report, many patents are pending on the lab-on-a-chip device.