New diagnostic system
Canadian researchers invent a new diagnostic system, lab-on-a-chip, for identifying infectious diseases. The University of Toronto researchers named their device MR Box. This tiny device instantly performs blood tests and determine for people who are at risk for measles and rubella. Majorly, it can help for remote areas.
Researchers said, around 134,000 people died each year by measles, and congenital rubella syndrome causes birth defects in 100,000 kids annually. But the damage created is unnecessary, as measles and rubella can turn away by antibodies.
However, the device depends on a digital microfluidics technology, which is a process designed to move, split, and recompose “miniscule” droplets of liquid on a chip. These chips made from ink-jet or 3D printing, and they manage droplets through electric signals.
When the blood drop moves, the device alerts and searches for the presence of antibodies to measles or rubella. It indicates the person has developed an immunity to the disease, either through previous infection or vaccination.
Results of the device
To test the device, researchers taken the blood samples of measles and rubella patients to check the development of immunity. Compared to the lab standard tests, the device picked up 86% of measles samples and 91% of rubella samples.
Researchers address the findings as a strong step for a new technology designed to help populations that might go without a public health resource.
Darius Rackus, lead author of the study, said, our platform is inexpensive, fast, and flexible. We consider it to be a powerful tool for public health workers on the front lines, who have no access to health records or may be dealing with humanitarian emergencies.
While, the MR Box technology can also use for other issues, such as, geographic locations, populations, and diseases. However, researchers planning to design new chips to test for Zika and Malaria. The chips may also increase global disease surveillance and cut expenses originating from diagnostic labs.