Software can remotely control ScanDrop’s activity from anywhere on the planet
A few hundred dollars and 24 hours: That’s what’s required to scan biological materials for important biomarkers that signal diseases such as diabetes or cancer, using industry standard equipment. But suppose you wanted to monitor live cancer cells. For that you’d have to use an entirely different method. It takes just as long but requires a whole other set of expensive top-??end instrumentation. Want to look at bacteria instead? Be prepared to wait a few days for it to grow before you can get a meaningful result.
Researchers face enormous time constraints and financial hurdles from having to run these analyses on a regular basis. To solve this problem, Tania Konry, an assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeastern University, has developed a single instrument that can do all of the scans mentioned above at a fraction of the time and cost. That’s because it uses considerably less material and ultra-??sensitive detection methods to do the same thing.
Konry’s creation, ScanDrop, is a portable instrument no bigger than a shoebox that has the capacity to detect a variety of biological specimen. For that reason it will benefit a wide range of users beyond the medical community, including environmental monitoring and basic scientific research.
The instrument acts as a miniature science lab, of sorts. It contains a tiny chip, made of polymer or glass, that is connected to equally tiny tubes. An extremely small-??volume liquid sample—whether it’s water or a biological fluid such as serum—flows in one of those tubes, through the lab-??on-??a-??chip device, and out the other side. While inside, the sample is exposed to a slug of microscopic beads functionalized to react with the lab test’s search parameters. For example, one type of bead could be covered with antibodies that selectively bind to e. coli to test water quality. Other types could detect cancer biomarkers or bind to the tetanus virus to test for immunity.
“It can be any biological agent,” Konry said. “We take the same approach.”
The beads fluoresce when the specific marker or cell in question has been detected; from there, an analysis by ScanDrop can provide the concentration levels of that marker or cell.
Because the volumes being tested with ScanDrop are so small, the testing time dwindles to just minutes. This means you could get near-??real time measures of a changing sample—be it bacteria levels in a flowing body of water or dynamic insulin levels in the bloodstream of a person with diabetes.
Konry noted that not only are other testing mechanisms prohibitively expensive, but they are also fairly useless in the field—particularly in remote areas—because the instruments are large and require long times for analysis. By comparison, ScanDrop’s portability makes it much more functional and efficient in the field.
Her team recently joined forces with a group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, which developed software that can remotely control ScanDrop’s activity from anywhere on the planet. This functionality could be particularly useful when the instrument is set up in the field to continuously monitor the environment.
The Latest on: Portable miniature science lab
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Portable miniature science lab” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Portable miniature science lab
- Equity Labon March 28, 2023 at 5:18 am
While we value the support of our funding partners, outside funders have no editorial oversight, approval or influence over the content produced by lab reporters or other members of the Sacramento ...
- Miniature Cyclotronson March 25, 2023 at 5:00 pm
This article was supported by readers like you. Our mission is to provide accurate, engaging news of science to the public. That mission has never been more important than it is today. As a ...
- The best portable air conditioners in 2023on March 23, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Escape the heat and save energy with these handy mini coolers ... the best portable air conditioners are a wise investment that’ll serve you for years to come. Popular Science has expertise ...
- Best Portable Mini Bluetooth Speakers for 2023: Top Compact Waterproof Wireless Speakerson March 21, 2023 at 4:17 pm
Whether you're looking for something that'll work well in your home or when you're out and about, all of the best portable mini Bluetooth speakers boast impressive sound. Note that while compact ...
- The best portable monitors for gaming, entertainment and work use in 2023on March 20, 2023 at 6:53 am
The best portable monitors are a popular choice of ... from HDMI 1.4 and 2.0, to USB-C and Mini Display port. SO it’s compatible with everything from smartphones to consoles and PCs.
- The Mobile Phone Becomes a Science Labon March 16, 2023 at 5:00 pm
The mobile phone has a variety of sensors that enables it to become a pocket experimental science laboratory. For several years, Google has allowed the mobile phone to measure physical stimuli like ...
- Berkeley Lab's 'Science in Motion' video series extends research to new audienceson March 14, 2023 at 5:00 pm
or Berkeley Lab, has been committed to researching various areas of science. Berkeley Lab is known most for its discovery of 16 elements on the periodic table. The Lab has geared its research ...
- The best portable saunas of 2023on March 12, 2023 at 5:00 pm
These are the best portable saunas for ultimate relaxation and healing when you’re at home or on the go. This full-featured sauna creates a serene overall environment. Get everything you need in ...
- UT Austin lab simulates miniature earthquakes; discovers role ‘healing’ plays in slow earthquakeson March 8, 2023 at 10:47 am
A paper published in the journal Science last month revealed ... a Ph.D. student at UT Austin’s Geomechanics Lab, shows how they simulate a miniature earthquake in a lab. (Credit: Eric Henrikson ...
- Miniature Electric Generator (Science Project)on March 6, 2023 at 8:43 am
First, this is the project I am basing it off of: science project generator. As you can see, it's pretty basic. I have the same overall goal, but I want to kind of make ours a bit fancier and ...
via Bing News