Paper machince could provide cost-effective diagnostic tool

A paper machine prototype, intended to provide a cost-effective diagnostic method. | Courtesy of the American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society (ACS) has released a report on a cost-effective device scientists are in process of developing that could potentially be utilized in diagnostics, the society announced July 15.
 
Many modern diagnostic methods used in most industrialized countries for cancer and other infectious diseases of concern are based on expensive and highly technical equipment that requires highly skilled technicians, the society said, and in countries with limited resources this kind of diagnostic ability is limited. These machines often utilize a patient's genetic material in order to determine if foreign bacteria or another pathogen is also located within the blood sample.

According to the ACS, this prototype "paper machine" is able to manage sample preparation, detection and DNA analysis in a simplified form. Scientists state the device was successful in finding E. coli cells in testing samples. The results of the test are read through ultraviolet light and a cell phone camera.

This report, in full, was published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
 
In the abstract, the report says, the device utilizes paper microfluidics and a layered design that allows users to add needed buffers and reagents in a point-of-care fashion. The ACS says the materials used to create the device had a total cost that was lower than $2.

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