Breaking News
July 23, 2018 - Hand-Holding, Stress Ball Don’t Cut Anxiety in Skin CA Removal
July 23, 2018 - Biomarker is discovered for a flesh-eating pathogen that can blind or kill healthy young people
July 23, 2018 - Global warming could lead to additional suicides, new research indicates
July 23, 2018 - Researchers investigate recessive genetic disorder that leads to childhood blindness
July 23, 2018 - Imaging study shows how junk DNA activates genes
July 23, 2018 - Study assesses increased growth of secondary imaging interpretations
July 23, 2018 - Researchers present evidence of phage cooperation when attacking CRISPR-containing bacteria
July 23, 2018 - Endari (L-Glutamine) Supplement May Ease the Pain of Sickle Cell Disease
July 23, 2018 - Hidden blood in feces may signal deadly conditions
July 23, 2018 - Yeast species used in biotechnology, food industries causes drug-resistant yeast infections
July 23, 2018 - Breath analyses may help detect pancreatic cancer earlier, study shows
July 23, 2018 - Study reports data on dementia prevalence in sexual minority older adults
July 23, 2018 - Children of mothers with type 1 diabetes at greater risk of being overweight
July 23, 2018 - Deep brain stimulation found to improve diabetes symptoms
July 23, 2018 - New project explores health effects of dangerous chemicals
July 23, 2018 - New breeding technologies could enhance shape, size, color, and health benefits of produce
July 23, 2018 - Pfizer announces FDA approval of biosimilar to Neupogen
July 23, 2018 - Key questions to consider for sustainable management of environmental risks in Europe
July 23, 2018 - Vaxart Announces Publication of the Phase 1 Results of its Oral Norovirus Tablet Vaccine in Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight
July 23, 2018 - Joslin researchers report excessive fetal growth despite well-controlled type 1 diabetes
July 23, 2018 - Many patients concerned about financial impact of cancer diagnosis and treatment
July 23, 2018 - Former inmates more likely to die of opioid overdose after prison release
July 23, 2018 - New study offers robust insights into under-treatment of women with heart attacks
July 23, 2018 - Doctors’ ‘gut feelings’ play key role in medical decision making, finds study
July 23, 2018 - Tooth enamel that regrows? Researcher says revolutionary gel could make it possible
July 23, 2018 - ECU researchers develop world’s first blood test that detects melanoma in its early stages
July 23, 2018 - Researchers explore future of houseplants as functional sirens of home health
July 23, 2018 - No Outcome Differences Based on Anesthesia Team Make-Up
July 23, 2018 - Getting to the heart of congenital cardiac defects
July 23, 2018 - Healthy behaviors are not effective in preventing gestational diabetes in obese women
July 23, 2018 - Top of Teachers’ To-Do List: Focus on the Positives
July 23, 2018 - LDL quality is a novel, modifiable cardiovascular risk marker
July 22, 2018 - Researchers identify enzyme as potential new drug target for blood disorders
July 22, 2018 - Research shows that neurons can encode more than one signal at a time
July 22, 2018 - Exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of stillbirth
July 22, 2018 - Skin conditions by the numbers
July 22, 2018 - Brain tumour chemotherapy now available to even more NHS patients
July 22, 2018 - Researchers find mugwort pollen as major source of airborne endotoxins
July 22, 2018 - Occupational safety and health at workplace
July 22, 2018 - Pfizer And Lilly Announce Positive Top-Line Results From Phase 3 Trial Of Tanezumab For The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis (OA) Pain
July 22, 2018 - Early supper associated with lower risk of breast and prostate cancer
July 22, 2018 - Survey results identify major inequalities in acute stroke treatment across Europe
July 22, 2018 - Researchers discover promising treatment for genetic form of autism spectrum disorder
July 22, 2018 - Prenatal Depression More Common in Young Moms Today
July 22, 2018 - What helps adults with autism get and keep a job?
July 22, 2018 - Pediatric NEXUS Head CT DI guides selective imaging decisions in blunt trauma patients
July 22, 2018 - Novel tool predicts genes that cause disease due to production of truncated proteins
July 22, 2018 - AHA: Vaping Tied to Blood Clots — in Mice
July 22, 2018 - Study finds therapy dogs effective in reducing symptoms of ADHD
July 22, 2018 - Scientists find reason why malarial parasites are faster than immune cells
July 22, 2018 - Researchers gain more insight into how FUS protein causes ALS and FTLD
July 22, 2018 - Frequency of joint replacements halved in rheumatoid arthritis patients between 1997-2010
July 22, 2018 - QUT researcher highlights growing impact of non-prescription antibiotics supply in pharmacies
July 22, 2018 - UK health communication researcher seeks solutions for disposing leftover medicine
July 22, 2018 - Pfizer Initiates Pivotal Phase 3 Program for Investigational Hemophilia B Gene Therapy Fidanacogene Elaparvovec
July 22, 2018 - Mutation discovered to protect against Alzheimer’s disease in mice
July 22, 2018 - Researchers reveal how patients in urban areas develop multiple, long-term conditions
July 22, 2018 - Replacing conventional cancer treatment with complementary therapy linked to increased risk of death
July 22, 2018 - Study uncovers molecular key for delaying progression of multiple sclerosis
July 22, 2018 - Availability of athletic trainer in high school reduces injury rates in girls’ sports, shows study
July 22, 2018 - FDA Approves Krintafel (tafenoquine) for the Radical Cure of Plasmodium vivax Malaria
July 22, 2018 - Novel nuclear medicine probe will help assess new drugs for neurodegenerative diseases
July 22, 2018 - Physical activity even during exposure to air pollution can reduce risk of heart attack
July 22, 2018 - Scientists discover protein regulator of myelin production
July 22, 2018 - Sleep disturbances associated with higher dementia risk
July 22, 2018 - Scientists move one step further in developing eye drops to treat age-related macular degeneration
July 22, 2018 - Five-Year Stroke Rates Lower After PCI Versus CABG
July 21, 2018 - Alopecia areata – Genetics Home Reference
July 21, 2018 - Study identifies overdose risk factors in youth with substance use disorders
July 21, 2018 - Drug in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease offers hope for treating heart failure
July 21, 2018 - Coupling free malaria tests with diagnosis-dependent vouchers can improve rational use of ACTs
July 21, 2018 - Sweetness depends on molecular interactions between specific sugars and water in saliva
July 21, 2018 - Muscle fitness is strongly associated with improved rate of ageing in the brain
July 21, 2018 - Resetting E-Prescriptions for Opioids Helps Curb Use: Study
July 21, 2018 - Overuse of antibiotics not what the doctor ordered
July 21, 2018 - Bundled-payment system did not lower costs for serious medical conditions, shows study
July 21, 2018 - Therapy dogs found to be effective in reducing ADHD symptoms in children
July 21, 2018 - Could rotating multiple therapists better treat PTSD patients?
July 21, 2018 - Binge drinking impairs working memory in adolescent brain
July 21, 2018 - Dying at home could be beneficial for terminally ill cancer patients and their relatives
MIT researchers develop new versatile plug-and-play diagnostic devices

MIT researchers develop new versatile plug-and-play diagnostic devices

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Researchers at MIT’s Little Devices Lab have developed a set of modular blocks that can be put together in different ways to produce diagnostic devices. These “plug-and-play” devices, which require little expertise to assemble, can test blood glucose levels in diabetic patients or detect viral infection, among other functions.

“Our long-term motivation is to enable small, low-resources laboratories to generate their own libraries of plug-and-play diagnostics to treat their local patient populations independently,” says Anna Young, co-director of MIT’s Little Devices Lab, lecturer at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, and one of the lead authors of the paper.

Using this system, called Ampli blocks, the MIT team is working on devices to detect cancer, as well as Zika virus and other infectious diseases. The blocks are inexpensive, costing about 6 cents for four blocks, and they do not require refrigeration or special handling, making them appealing for use in the developing world.

“We see these construction kits as a way of lowering the barriers to making medical technology,” says Jose Gomez-Marquez, co-director of the Little Devices Lab and the senior author of the paper.

Elizabeth Phillips ’13, a graduate student at Purdue University, is also a lead author of the paper, which appears in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials on May 16. Other authors include Kimberly Hamad-Schifferli, an associate professor of engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and a visiting scientist in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering; Nikolas Albarran, a senior engineer in the Little Devices Lab; Jonah Butler, an MIT junior; and Kaira Lujan, a former visiting student in the Little Devices Lab.

Customized diagnostics

Over the past decade, many researchers have been working on small, portable diagnostic devices based on chemical reactions that occur on paper strips. Many of these tests make use of lateral flow technology, which is the same approach used in home pregnancy tests.

Despite these efforts, such tests have not been widely deployed. One obstacle, says Gomez-Marquez, is that many of these devices are not designed with large-scale manufacturability in mind. Another is that companies may not be interested in mass-producing a diagnostic for a disease that doesn’t affect a large number of people.

The Little Devices Lab researchers realized that they could get these diagnostics into the hands of many more people if they created a kit of modular components that can be put together to generate exactly what the user needs. To that end, they have created about 40 different building blocks that lab workers around the world could easily assemble on their own, just as people began assembling their own radios and other electronic devices from commercially available electronic “breadboards” in the 1970s.

“When the electronic breadboard came out, that meant people didn’t have to worry about building their own resistors or capacitors. They could worry about what they actually wanted to use electronics for, which is to make the entire circuit,” Gomez-Marquez says.

In this case, the components consist of a sheet of paper or glass fiber sandwiched between a plastic or metal block and a glass cover. The blocks, which are about half an inch on each edge, can snap together along any edge. Some of the blocks contain channels for samples to flow straight through, some have turns, and some can receive a sample from a pipette or mix multiple reagents together.

The blocks can also perform different biochemical functions. Many contain antibodies that can detect a specific molecule in a blood or urine sample. Those antibodies are attached to nanoparticles that change color when the target molecule is present, indicating a positive result.

These blocks can be aligned in different ways, allowing the user to create diagnostics based on one reaction or a series of reactions. In one example, the researchers combined blocks that detect three different molecules to create a test for isonicotinic acid, which can reveal whether tuberculosis patients are taking their medication.

The blocks are color-coded by function, making it easier to assemble predesigned devices using instructions that the researchers plan to put online. They also hope that users will develop and contribute their own specifications to the online guide.

Better performance

The researchers also showed that in some ways, these blocks can outperform previous versions of paper diagnostic devices. For example, they found that they could run a sample back and forth over a test strip multiple times, enhancing the signal. This could make it easier to get reliable results from urine and saliva samples, which are usually more dilute than blood samples, but are easier to obtain from patients.

“These are things that cannot be done with standard lateral flow tests, because those are not modular — you only get to run those once,” says Hamad-Schifferli.

The team is now working on tests for human papilloma virus, malaria, and Lyme disease, among others. They are also working on blocks that can synthesize useful compounds, including drugs, as well as blocks that incorporate electrical components such as LEDs.

The ultimate goal is to get the technology into the hands of small labs in both industrialized and developing countries, so they can create their own diagnostics. The MIT team has already sent them to labs in Chile and Nicaragua, where they have been used to develop devices to monitor patient adherence to TB treatment and to test for a genetic variant that makes malaria more difficult to treat.

The researchers are now investigating large-scale manufacturing techniques, and they hope to launch a company to manufacture and distribute the kits around the world.

“We are excited to open the platform to other researchers so they can use the blocks and generate their own reactions,” Young says.

Source:

https://news.mit.edu/2018/plug-and-play-diagnostic-devices-0516

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles