Navigation Links
How long is a piece of thread? Long enough to save a life
Date:2/26/2010

A discovery by Monash University scientists could see humble cotton thread emerge as a core material in low-cost 'lab-on-chip' devices capable of detecting diseases such as kidney failure and diabetes.

In a world first, the researchers have used ordinary cotton thread and sewing needles to literally stitch together the uniquely low-cost microfluidic analytical device, which is the size of a postage stamp.

Microfluidic analytical devices, which have been produced from a range of materials over the last couple of decades, allow scientists to carry out chemical analyses of minute fluid samples, such as blood and urine. Production of conventional devices is complicated and expensive, requiring the incision of channels into chips made of silicon, glass, ceramic or metal.

The device, created by Associate Professor Wei Shen and his research team from Monash University's Engineering Faculty, works by wicking fluid along the microscopic fibres of cotton thread sown into a polymer film. The thread's absorbent property ensures a defined flow for fluids being tested, so complex channels and barriers do not need to be etched into the chip.

Associate Professor Shen said the cotton-based microfluidic system was a novel concept and he hoped further research could lead to the provision of low-cost disease screening and detecting devices to developing countries.

"There are currently promising technologies in the area of paper-based microfluidic diagnostic devices, however the disadvantage is that it requires expensive equipment to fabricate the sensors," Associate Professor Shen said.

"The benefit of cotton thread-based devices is that they can be made using simpler equipment, such as sewing machines, so they could be produced in developing regions where high-cost diagnostics are not available and not feasible. We are in the very early days of this research, but we are very excited about where it could lead."

Associate Professor Shen, whose discovery is detailed in the latest issue of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, said the low-cost simplicity of the cotton-thread concept belied its power and potential to make a huge difference to healthcare in many parts of the world.

"Communities in the developing world are very vulnerable to diseases, so early detection and screening systems can save many lives. However, many of the current commercial devices are not cheap enough for large-scale health-care projects involving disease detection, so an affordable alternative could make a huge difference.

"My research team is thrilled about this discovery. Our results demonstrate that thread is suitable for fabricating microfluidic diagnostic devices for monitoring human health, the environment, and food safety testing especially for less-industrialised or remote communities. Further research could also lead to use in personal products such as baby nappies."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jane Castles
jane.castles@adm.monash.edu.au
039-903-4842
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Key piece of puzzle sheds light on function of ribosomes
2. New piece found in the puzzle of epigenetics
3. Aerosol: A key piece of the climate change puzzle
4. Learning how the pieces responsible for interpreting the human genome work
5. Missing piece of plant clock found
6. Researchers solve piece of large-scale gene silencing mystery
7. Hopkins researchers piece together gene network linked to schizophrenia
8. Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genomes first draft
9. Researchers uncover new piece to the puzzle of human height
10. Americans concerned about heart health, but not proactive enough to prevent it
11. Does mom know when enough is enough?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/20/2016)... 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to announce ... By working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass ... and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to voice ... security and usability. ... new partnership. "This marketing and technology ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... , April 15, 2016  A new partnership ... more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of ... competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, ... data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... ISELIN, New Jersey and ... -- Indegene ( http://www.indegene.com ), a ... solutions to life science, pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations ... provider of innovative scientific support throughout the product ... alliance with the launch of IntraScience. ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Kinder Scientific (KinderScientific.com), a leading ... position the Company for the future. Kinder Scientific announces restructured ownership and ... been appointed Chairman of the Board, Curtis D. Kinghorn has been appointed CEO/President ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... features a variety of fracture-specific plating options designed to address fractures of the ... fracture fixation solutions. , The Acumed Ankle Plating System 3 is composed of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... CITY, UTAH. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... in healthcare information exchange, today announced that Charles W. Stellar has been named by ... WEDI’s interim CEO since January 2016. As an executive leader with more than 35 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: