Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > A portable device for rapid and highly sensitive diagnostics

The microfluidic tool has been tested with Ebola. It requires no bulky equipment, and is thus ideally suited for use in remote regions.
CREDIT: Alban Kakulya
The microfluidic tool has been tested with Ebola. It requires no bulky equipment, and is thus ideally suited for use in remote regions.

CREDIT: Alban Kakulya

Abstract:
When remote regions with limited health facilities experience an epidemic, they need portable diagnostic equipment that functions outside the hospital. As demand for such equipment grows, EPFL researchers have developed a low-cost and portable microfluidic diagnostic device. It has been tested on Ebola and can be used to detect many other diseases.

A portable device for rapid and highly sensitive diagnostics

Lausanne, Switzerland | Posted on February 22nd, 2016

Over the past several years, microfluidic devices have shown extraordinary potential in the area of diagnostics. They are composed of silicone rubber with minuscule channels the width of a hair. Microfluidic devices, and can rapidly detect a number of different biomarkers in very small quantities of blood.

At EPFL, a new type of microfluidic platform has come out of the Laboratory of Biological Network Characterization (LBNC), headed by Sebastian Maerkl. It is a portable device that runs on battery power and is completely self-sustained. It operates seamlessly with inexpensive microscopes and provides very high levels of accuracy and detection. The platform, which is described in a recent ACS Nano article, can quantify up to 16 different molecules - or biomarkers - in a tiny amount of blood (less than 0.005 milliliters). The biomarkers are usually enzymes, proteins, hormones or metabolites and the concentration of these molecules in the blood provides precise information on the patient's health condition.

Two detection readouts in one platform

The device is unique in that it is composed of both analog and digital detection mechanisms, while conventional devices hitherto only integrated one or the other. Digital detection is highly sensitive and can detect the presence of a single biomarker. However, it is less effective when the concentration of biomarkers is too high, due to signal saturation. Analog measurements, on the other hand, function best at higher biomarker concentrations. Using these two detection mechanisms simultaneously, the composition of a drop of blood can be thoroughly analyzed in a short amount of time. The analysis provides precious medical information: it could help doctors make an early diagnosis or determine the stage of a disease.

Initial testing has been successfully carried out on a sample containing anti-Ebola antibodies, which indicate the presence of the virus in both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. The device could potentially work with a large number of other protein biomarkers and molecules.

No need to pre-treat blood samples

There is more good news. Researchers at EPFL found that they could load the blood sample directly onto the device and perform on-chip biomarker quantitation without requiring any sample pre-treatment. "For researchers, it is quite interesting to be able to avoid having to separate the blood," said Francesco Piraino, the article's lead author. Blood plasma separation requires centrifuges, large volume samples and a long processing time.

For diagnoses in resource-limited regions

Says Piraino: "The platform will lead the development of new kinds of tests to meet the increasing demand for on-site diagnostic testing. It will prove very useful for medical staff working in resource-limited regions." The device could, for example, be used to monitor endemic, epidemic, and pandemic disease outbreaks.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:


41-767-851-370

Copyright © Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Microfluidics/Nanofluidics

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Nanotubes go with the flow to penetrate brain tissue: Rice University scientists, engineers develop microfluidic devices, microelectrodes for gentle implantation December 19th, 2017

Leti Develops World’s First Micro-Coolers for CERN Particle Detectors: Leti Design, Fabrication and Packaging Expertise Extends to Very Large Scientific Instruments December 11th, 2017

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

Nanomedicine

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures: Novel approach lays groundwork for using 3-D printing to repair tissue in the body January 17th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Proposed Underwritten Offering of Common Stock January 17th, 2018

Discoveries

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

New Method Uses DNA, Nanoparticles and Top-Down Lithography to Make Optically Active Structures: Technique could lead to new classes of materials that can bend light, such as for those used in cloaking devices January 18th, 2018

Announcements

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Announces Pricing of Underwritten Public Offering of Common Stock January 18th, 2018

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Researchers use sound waves to advance optical communication January 22nd, 2018

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Thanks for the memory: NIST takes a deep look at memristors January 20th, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Tools

Piecework at the nano assembly line: Electric fields drive nano-motors a 100,000 times faster than previous methods January 22nd, 2018

Leti to Demo New Curving Technology at Photonics West that Improves Performance of Optical Components January 18th, 2018

Nanowrinkles could save billions in shipping and aquaculture Surfaces inspired by carnivorous plants delay degradation by marine fouling January 17th, 2018

Ultra-thin optical fibers offer new way to 3-D print microstructures: Novel approach lays groundwork for using 3-D printing to repair tissue in the body January 17th, 2018

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project