Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pocket test measures fifty things in a drop of blood

Date:
December 19, 2012
Source:
Methodist Hospital, Houston
Summary:
A new device about the size of a business card could allow health care providers to test for insulin and other blood proteins, cholesterol, and even signs of viral or bacterial infection all at the same time —- with one drop of blood.

Blood from a pin prick can be used to determine the presence and approximate amount of 50 different small molecules, including viral antigens, hormones like insulin, as well as HDL or LDL cholesterols.
Credit: Lidong Qin and Yujun Song

A new device about the size of a business card could allow health care providers to test for insulin and other blood proteins, cholesterol, and even signs of viral or bacterial infection all at the same time -- with one drop of blood. Preliminary tests of the V-chip, created by scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center, were just published by Nature Communications.

Related Articles


"The V-Chip could make it possible to bring tests to the bedside, remote areas, and other types of point-of-care needs," said Nanomedicine faculty member Lidong Qin, Ph.D., the project's principal investigator. "V-Chip is accurate, cheap, and portable. It requires only a drop of a sample, not a vial of blood, and can do 50 different tests in one go."

Similar assays are typically done using heavy, large, complex equipment such as mass spectrometers, or require fluoroscopy analysis, which must also be done in a lab.

The V-chip, short for "volumetric bar-chart chip," on the other hand, can be carried around in a pocket. It is composed of two thin pieces of glass, about 3 in. by 2 in. In between are wells for four things: (1) hydrogen peroxide, (2) up to 50 different antibodies to specific proteins, DNA or RNA fragments, or lipids of interest, and the enzyme catalase, (3) serum or other sample, and (4) a dye -- any dye will do. Initially, the wells are kept separate from each other. A shift in the glass plates brings the wells into contact, creating a contiguous, zig-zagged space from one end of the V-chip to the other.

As the substance of interest -- say, insulin -- binds to antibodies bound to the glass slide, catalase is made active and splits nearby hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This approach is called ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The oxygen pushes the dye up the column. The more present insulin is, the more oxygen is created, and the farther dye is pushed up the slide. Tests show that distance is more or less proportional to the amount of substrate present, in this example, insulin. The end result is a visual bar chart. Easy to read and accurate, Qin says, though development continues.

"The sensitivity of the V-chip can be improved if narrower and longer bar channels are used," Qin said. "Our next steps are to make the device more user friendly and be so simple to use, it barely needs instructions."

Qin is also a Weill Cornell Medical College assistant professor of cell and developmental biology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Methodist Hospital, Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yujun Song, Yuanqing Zhang, Paul E. Bernard, James M. Reuben, Naoto T. Ueno, Ralph B. Arlinghaus, Youli Zu, Lidong Qin. Multiplexed volumetric bar-chart chip for point-of-care diagnostics. Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 1283 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2292

Cite This Page:

Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Pocket test measures fifty things in a drop of blood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219152621.htm>.
Methodist Hospital, Houston. (2012, December 19). Pocket test measures fifty things in a drop of blood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219152621.htm
Methodist Hospital, Houston. "Pocket test measures fifty things in a drop of blood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121219152621.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Vibrating Bicycle Senses Traffic

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 26, 2015) Dutch scientists have developed a smart bicycle that uses sensors, wireless technology and video to warn riders of traffic dangers. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

In Japan, Robot Dogs Are for Life -- And Death

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Robot dogs are the perfect pet for some in Japan who go to repairmen-turned-vets when their pooch breaks down - while a full Buddhist funeral ceremony awaits those who don&apos;t make it. Duration: 02:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

London Show Dissects History of Forensic Science

AFP (Feb. 25, 2015) Forensic science, which has fascinated generations with its unravelling of gruesome crime mysteries, is being put under the microscope in an exhibition of real criminal investigations in London. Duration: 00:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Researchers Replace Damaged Hands With Prostheses

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Scientists in Austria have been able to fit patients who&apos;ve lost the use of a hand with bionic prostheses the patients control with their minds. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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