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BIDMC and Diagnostics For All create first low-cost, paper-based, point of care liver function test
Date:9/19/2012

the authors.

In rigorous clinical tests using 223 whole blood and serum specimens from BIDMC, Pollock and Rolland's paper-based test performed at greater than 90 percent accuracy compared against the gold standard automated platform test.

"Ultimately, this device could significantly impact patient care, particularly in resource-limited areas, and it could be also used to measure other types of liver damage, for example, that due to viral hepatitis," says Pollock. "This type of paper microfluidic platform is highly flexible so it can be used to construct a variety of other diagnostic assays as well," adds Rolland.

Diagnostics For All is currently developing a range of other tests for use in maternal and child health, infectious disease diagnosis and even agricultural tests, such as bovine (cow) pregnancy, for rural farmers in Africa.

Additionally, the device could be used as a "triage test" in developed or developing nations to quickly and inexpensively rule out the need for automated laboratory testing. For example, if blood tested with the device shows that the liver enzymes fall below a certain threshold, more expensive testing could be avoided, saving healthcare dollars and clinical resources.

"The next stage for the device is to test it in the field," says Pollock. "We are working with the global health nonprofit PATH in Seattle, WA for a preliminary field study of the paper-based test in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The field study is a collaboration with the BIDMC-based Harvard Medical School AIDS Initiative in Vietnam and the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City. We will evaluate the performance of the test for fingerstick testing of 600 patients from the Hospital of Tropical Diseases HIV clinic."


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Contact: Kelly Lawman
klawman@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7305
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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