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New 'Paper Machine' to Detect Infectious Diseases, Genetic Conditions, Cancer

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on  July 16, 2015 at 5:48 PM Medical Gadgets   - G J E 4
Many modern diagnostic techniques involve analyzing DNA in a patient's blood sample. For example, if pathogenic bacteria are present, the test will detect the foreign genetic material. Researcher George Whitesides from Harvard University and his colleagues have now developed a portable, low-cost paper machine for point-of-care detection of infectious diseases, genetic conditions and cancer. Using materials costing less than a total of $2, the research team has condensed sample preparation, DNA analysis and detection steps into a hand-held paper machine.
 New 'Paper Machine' to Detect Infectious Diseases, Genetic Conditions, Cancer
New 'Paper Machine' to Detect Infectious Diseases, Genetic Conditions, Cancer
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The study said, "The prototype device integrates paper microfluidics (to enable fluid handling) and a multilayer structure, or a 'paper machine', that allows a central patterned paper strip to slide in and out of fluidic path and thus allows introduction of sample, wash buffers, amplification master mix, and detection reagents with minimal pipetting, in a hand-held, disposable device intended for point-of-care use in resource-limited environments."

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The new device successfully determined whether as few as five cells of E. coli bacterium were present in test samples. The test results can be read using ultraviolet light and a smartphone camera. Part of the barrier in bringing this kind of technology everywhere is that it often requires multiple steps under precisely controlled temperatures to prepare a sample and analyze it. The researchers said, "We are further refining the machine to make it even simpler to use."

The study is reported in the Analytical Chemistry.

Source: IANS
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