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Fast, low-cost device uses the cloud to speed up diagnostic testing for HIV and more
Date:1/24/2013

New York, NYJanuary 24, 2013Samuel K. Sia, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering, has taken his innovative lab-on-a-chip and developed a way to not only check a patient's HIV status anywhere in the world with just a finger prick, but also synchronize the results automatically and instantaneously with central health-care records10 times faster, the researchers say, than the benchtop ELISA, a broadly used diagnostic technique. The device was field-tested in Rwanda by a collaborative team from the Sia lab and ICAP at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health.

In the study published online January 18, 2013, in Clinical Chemistry, and in the print April 2013 issue, Sia describes a major advance towards providing people in remote areas of the world with laboratory-quality diagnostic services traditionally available only in centralized health care settings.

"We've built a handheld mobile device that can perform laboratory-quality HIV testing, and do it in just 15 minutes and on finger-pricked whole blood," Sia says. "And, unlike current HIV rapid tests, our device can pick up positive samples normally missed by lateral flow tests, and automatically synchronize the test results with patient health records across the globe using both the cell phone and satellite networks."

Sia collaborated with Claros Diagnostics (a company he co-founded, now called OPKO Diagnostics) to develop a pioneering strategy for an integrated microfluidic-based diagnostic devicethe mChipthat can perform complex laboratory assays, and do so with such simplicity that these tests can easily be carried out anywhere, including in resource-limited settings, at a very low cost. This new study builds upon his earlier scientific concepts and incorporates a number of new engineering elements that make the test automated to run with data communication over both cell phone and satellite networks.

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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly.evarts@gmail.com
347-453-7408
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert  

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