Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Swedish invention simplifies home diagnostics

Date:
March 24, 2011
Source:
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish)
Summary:
Advances in medical diagnostic technology may one day enable individuals to perform preliminary medical diagnoses themselves, in their own home, in the future.

Advances in medical diagnostic technology will likely allow individuals to perform preliminary medical diagnoses themselves, in their own home, in the future.

"The idea is to make complex diagnostic processes as simple to perform as modern-day pregnancy tests," says Nathaniel Robinson, who leads the Transport and Separations Group at Linkφping University in Sweden

Dr. Robinson and PhD student Per Erlandsson have invented an improved pump, called an electroosmotic pump, which can be placed in a "microfluidic chip." Such chips, sometimes called "lab-on-a-chip" devices, contain miniaturized versions of the beakers and test tubes found in chemistry laboratories interconnected by tiny pipes. Rather than using moving parts, the new pump moves fluids in these pipes via an electric current. The fluids to be pumped can be biological samples such as blood, urine or saliva for medical devices.

"The trick is to generate the ionic current that moves the fluid to be pumped without disturbing the cells, proteins, and other molecules in the sample," according to Dr. Robinson.

To do this, the researchers have employed a type of electronically conducting plastic in the pump's electrodes. The plastic can be electrochemically oxidized or reduced, acting as a transducer between the ions, the charge carriers in fluids, and electrons, which carry charge in metal wires. Traditional electroosmotic pumps use metal electrodes and the electrochemical reactions required are performed on the water in the sample itself. By-products of this electrochemistry included oxygen and hydrogen gas bubbles, and the production of acid or base. Each of these by-products disturbs the microfluidic device and the fluid sample.

"This is primarily why electroosmotic pumps have not been more widely used in the development of medical devices," says Robinson.

The researchers have shown that the pump can be operated repeatedly for extended periods of time, and can operate at relatively low voltages, so that small, portable diagnostic devices can be driven by batteries.

"Several microfluidics articles describe ways to work around the complications associated with integrated metal-electrodes. Here, the alternative reactions of electrochemically active electrodes give us the chance to remove the core problem, the electrolysis of solvent," according to Per Erlandsson, who constructed the pumps.

The researchers have applied for a patent for the new invention and are currently looking for partners who have a need for such pumps in their lab-on-a-chip devices. The research is also described in an article appearing in the latest issue of the scientific journal Electrophoresis.

Simple-to-operate medical devices, that will ultimately enable preliminary self-diagnosis via automated testing kits, will likely become an important part of our healthcare system. Otherwise, we will have a difficult time financing healthcare for an aging population at current or expanded levels of service. For example, by automating and simplifying screening for diseases, such as cancer, a greater portion of the population can be screened, more cases will be caught early, and hospital resources can focus on treatment of individuals who are truly ill. This pump is a significant step towards realizing the devices that will make this possible.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Per G. Erlandsson, Nathaniel D. Robinson. Electrolysis-reducing electrodes for electrokinetic devices. Electrophoresis, 2011; 32 (6-7): 784 DOI: 10.1002/elps.201000617

Cite This Page:

Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Swedish invention simplifies home diagnostics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104410.htm>.
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). (2011, March 24). Swedish invention simplifies home diagnostics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104410.htm
Expertanswer (Expertsvar in Swedish). "Swedish invention simplifies home diagnostics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324104410.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Flower Power! Dandelions Make Car Tires?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 20, 2014) — Forget rolling on rubber, could car drivers soon be traveling on tires made from dandelions? Teams of scientists are racing to breed a type of the yellow flower whose taproot has a milky fluid with tire-grade rubber particles in it. As Joanna Partridge reports, global tire makers are investing millions in research into a new tire source. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

Green Power Blooms as Japan Unveils 'hydrangea Solar Cell'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — A solar cell that resembles a flower is offering a new take on green energy in Japan, where one scientist is searching for renewables that look good. Duration: 01:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins