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
via Google News
The Latest on: Portable miniature science lab
- A Lab-Grade Measurement Microphone For Not A Loton July 4, 2022 at 5:00 pm
The quality of any measurement can only be as good as the instrument used to gather it, and for acoustic measurements, finding a good enough instrument can be surprisingly difficult. Commonly ...
- Launch Lab: Sparking economic growth throughout Eastern Ontarioon July 4, 2022 at 6:05 am
Launch Lab helps prepare the companies it works with to present their pitches and get ready to raise the capital they need to thrive.
- Everything Announced During Today's Nintendo Direct Mini, Including Persona 5 on Switchon June 28, 2022 at 6:30 am
A Nintendo Direct Mini focused on third-party developers premiered ... company puts its unmistakable mark on their films. They do science fiction films with big ideas and small budgets like ...
- Could lab-grown mini-kidneys change patients’ lives?on June 27, 2022 at 8:36 am
Several labs in Europe are growing mini-kidneys to be used for disease ... as well as European Union’s rare disease network. Portable artificial kidney is perceived as the next big thing in ...
- Make Your Electronics Lab In A Boxon June 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm
The guide is really more of a series of pictures of his process of building the portable lab, but he shows off some great ideas of things you might want to include in your own personal version of it.
- Researchers develop hybrid sensor that can help diagnose canceron June 20, 2022 at 8:00 pm
A team of researchers from HSE University, Skoltech, MPGU, and MISIS have developed a nanophotonic-microfluidic sensor whose potential applications include cancer detection, monitoring ...
- Hybrid sensor developed by researchers for better cancer diagnosison June 19, 2022 at 10:25 am
Today, a "lab-on-a-chip" is a miniature sensor device capable of performing ... professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. However, certain factors--either internal (genetic ...
- Research shows development of hybrid sensor to help diagnose canceron June 18, 2022 at 12:26 am
Today, a 'lab-on-a-chip' is a miniature sensor device capable of performing ... professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. However, certain factors--either internal (genetic ...
- Researchers develop hybrid sensor that can help diagnose canceron June 17, 2022 at 9:32 am
Today, a ‘lab-on-a-chip’ is a miniature sensor device capable of ... professor at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. However, certain factors—either internal (genetic ...
- Best Portable Power Stations of 2022on June 16, 2022 at 8:55 am
The midsize portable power station category is a crowded space and there are a few nearly equal alternatives to the 50S including both Ecoflow models (River Max and Delta Mini) and the Big Blue ...
via Bing News