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Development of portable infectious disease detector

es patients can monitor their condition since the introduction of home blood glucose detectors." The collaboration's goal is to produce its first portable HIV monitor within two years. In addition to such "point of care" devices, Wikswo and Pyle are joining forces to develop "high-throughput" screening systems that can determine the biological activity of large numbers of compounds with extreme rapidity and so could have a major impact on the drug discovery process. Fifteen years ago a number of start-up companies were created to make the goal of creating a "lab-on-a-chip" a reality. However, putting microscopic arrays of channels, pumps and valves to move around minute amounts of liquid on silicon chips proved to be considerably more difficult than most of the inventors had expected and the products that these companies have created thus far have been too expensive for the point-of-care diagnostics market. For their home fertility tester, Pria kept costs down by keeping their system as simple as possible. Instead of trying to squeeze everything onto a single chip, Pria designers started with a desktop diagnostic system and shrank it down into a device about the size of a coffee cup. One of the cost-saving aspects of the design was to keep the fluid-handling components separate from the microelectronics. The resulting device is considerably larger than comparable lab-on-a-chip systems but it is also much less expensive. "That's one of the appealing features about Pria's approach," says Wikswo, "They keep their microfluidics and microelectronics as simple as possible." "Pria's first product focused on fertility," says VIIBRE project engineer David Schaffer. "With our capabilities, they can begin applying their technology to a goldmine of different applications." One of the key VIIBRE capabilities, which was developed by a research team headed by Assistant Professor of Chemistry David Cliffel, is the development of a sensor suite capable of simultaneously measuring th
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Source:Eurekalert


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