The research results have been published online in Nature Precedings. The report describes how the new device works and gives details of the information the diagnostic test provides within the first few minutes of its use.
Garcia said he released the findings promptly because of the impact that the device could have on health treatment globally.
Researchers around the world are working on ways to make rapid diagnostic devices for use in developing countries, he said.
"There is a great need for rapid and low-cost instruments that can be used to make decisions within a few minutes on how to treat a patient," he said.
The most common low-cost devices on the market now are lateral-flow immunoassays similar in look and function to the early pregnancy test.
The biggest stumbling block in making low-cost diagnostic devices for many conditions and diseases is that sensitivity is compromised for specificity in these lateral-flow immunoassays.
A different strategy to miniaturize complex instruments suffers from the difficulty in reducing the cost to what most people would be able to afford about one two dollars per test as well as the need for spare parts and special handling.
"To have a global impact, we need to have accurate and sensitive tools that can help health care providers treat patients at a low cost during their first visit", Schneider said.
"Our goal is to translate this technology and design into a rugged and easy-to-use device that we would give away for free to clinics.
The only costs involved with using the Integrascope would be in the drop of particles and a small piece of a superhydrophobic surface about one to two dollars," Garcia said.
With the repeated and more frequent spread of in
|Contact: Joe Kullman|
Arizona State University