A new blood testing device invented by University of Rhode Island engineers uses just a pinprick of blood in a protable device and provides results in less than 30 minutes time.
"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," said Mohammad Faghri, lead researcher on the project.
"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," he said.
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 bio-sensor 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.
Unlike other similar devices in use, the new device is much smaller, more portable, requires a smaller blood sample, and is less expensive.
While the sensor costs about 3,200 dollars, each test costs just 1.50 dollars that is the cost for the plastic cartridge and reagents.