Sandia nears completion of 10 minute blood test
The device, currently called the SpinDX, needs only a droplet of blood taken from a fingertip to determine whether or not a patient is infected with a variety of pathogens, including biological warfare agents, according to ABCLocal.go.com.
The system was designed to quickly diagnose victims of a biological or radiological attack. It is relatively small, portable and can conduct 20 to 30 tests per day for a month without needing new batteries.
"While [the nurse] is taking your weight and asking you questions, in those 10 minutes, the device will run your blood sample and have answers available to the doctor for particular diseases," Sandia's Biosystems Research Manager Anup Singh said, ABCLocal.go.com reports.
Sandia scientists said that the $3 million taxpayer-funded project could dramatically improve patient care by cutting the time it takes to produce a diagnosis from days to minutes.
After a blood sample is taken it is transferred to a disc that is then placed inside the device. The SpinDX operates a centrifuge that separates the blood's proteins, which are then analyzed. The discs are designed to do specific tests.
"You pull out your vacuum-foiled cancer disk out of the fridge and put it on the disk," the project's senior scientist Greg Sommer said, ABCLocal.go.com reports. "If you want to look at something more specific, like if we're doing botulinum or e. coli or salmonella testing, maybe you pull that one out."