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:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour ... from the Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. ... receptivity to a program where they would receive discounts ... company. "We were surprised to see that ... LaColla , CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... partnership to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration ... security to access and transact across channels. Using ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal ... new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at ... heels of the deployment of its platform at several ... biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed a ... serve as their official health care provider. As ... provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and most ... athletes and families. "We are excited ... to bring Houston Methodist quality services and programs ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...   EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, ... financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will ... its drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional ... has been an incredible strategic partner to us – ... would provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free ... and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, ... poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA ...
Breaking Biology Technology: