Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revolutionary portable lab for rapid and low-cost diagnosis

Date:
February 14, 2014
Source:
European Commission, CORDIS
Summary:
Do you remember James Bond film Casino Royale? After being poisoned, the agent uses a portable diagnostic kit to identify the toxic substance and alert his HQ in London. Such type of technology is not fiction anymore. Researchers have developed a ground-breaking diagnostic system based on smart cards and skin patches combined with a portable reader. Test results can directly be sent to a remote computer, a tablet or a smartphone through a wireless connection. This small lab can already detect cocaine consumption, monitor colon cancer, identify bacteria in food and analyze environmental contamination. Many other useful applications can be foreseen.

Do you remember James Bond film Casino Royale? After being poisoned, the agent uses a portable diagnostic kit to identify the toxic substance and alert his HQ in London. Such type of technology is not fiction anymore. European researchers have developed a ground-breaking diagnostic system based on smart cards and skin patches combined with a portable reader. Test results can directly be sent to a remote computer, a tablet or a smartphone through a wireless connection. This small lab can already detect cocaine consumption, monitor colon cancer, identify bacteria in food and analyse environmental contamination. Many other useful applications can be foreseen. Companies in Spain, Ireland and Denmark will soon commercialise this innovative diagnostic system.

"13 partners in 8 countries worked during 4 years on the LABONFOIL project. They combined their skills in microtechnology, molecular biology, materials and electronics to develop this novel technology for rapid and low-cost diagnosis. All this was made possible thanks to a EUR 5.3 million funding of the European Union", explains Dr Ruano-López, the project coordinator based at the Basque research centre IK4-IKERLAN.

The team focused more specifically on three smart cards and a skin patch. Each of them includes a very sophisticated electronic circuit and different chemical components that react to defined substances. The cards and the patch are analysed by a portable reader.

Detecting cocaine consumption

The cocaine detection patch can identify drugs in human sweat, which it samples straight through the skin. The patch collects data which can be examined in real time by a portable reader or stored for later analysis — over a period from 24 hours to 10 days. It could be used, for example, to control drivers as drug consumption is related to around 25 % of fatal road accidents in Europe, the USA and Australia.

Monitoring colon cancer

A smart card has been developed to monitor colon cancer. It is inserted in the reader with a few drops of a patient's blood. The card can identify a specific protein which increases in case of recurrence of the disease. The technique is not invasive and allows a close follow-up of the patient at reduced costs.

Identifying bacteria in food

Another smart card elaborated by the research team can detect pathogens – infectious agents such as bacteria or viruses – in food. It focuses on 'Campylobacter' and 'Salmonella' — the most common bacterial infections in Europe. It could be used in farms and in food processing establishments to ensure food safety and protect consumers.

Analysing water quality

The water contamination card analyses phytoplankton concentration in a sample of sea water. Excessive concentration of these microscopic algae can signal toxins or pollution which may be harmful to humans.

Results immediately available

The portable reader can connect to computers, tablets or smartphones through a wireless network. The data obtained by the small lab in a poultry farm could be immediately inspected by a vet located anywhere in the world. Such a diagnostic system could enable rapid reactions in case of health or environmental crisis, and ultimately save lives.

Soon on the market

Researchers used foils, instead of traditional wafers, to create the cards and the patch, reducing drastically production costs. After extensive validation tests — involving more than 600 samples — the devices shown to be robust and reliable; they are now ready to be used by the market. "With team spirit, dedication and a rigorous approach, we created a diagnostic system having an important social and economic potential. The four applications that we developed present a real added value and they can be adapted in different scenarios, faster and more cost-effectively than ever before", says Dr Ruano-López.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Commission, CORDIS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Commission, CORDIS. "Revolutionary portable lab for rapid and low-cost diagnosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214075409.htm>.
European Commission, CORDIS. (2014, February 14). Revolutionary portable lab for rapid and low-cost diagnosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214075409.htm
European Commission, CORDIS. "Revolutionary portable lab for rapid and low-cost diagnosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214075409.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla, Panasonic Ink Deal To Make Huge Battery 'Gigafactory'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) — The deal will help build a massive battery factory that Tesla says will produce 500,000 lithium batteries by 2020. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) — British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) — Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Smoked: 2015 Ducati Diavel Vs 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Drag Race

Cycle World (July 30, 2014) — The Bonnier Motorcycle Group presents Smoked; a three part video series. In this episode the 2015 Ducati Diavel takes on the 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Video provided by Cycle World
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