Mobile Medical Device Diagnoses Diseases in 30 Minutes

Penn state researchers

Weihua Guan, assistant professor in electrical engineering, and his graduate student Gihoon Choi, show “AnyMDx: A Mobile Molecular Diagnostics Lab for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.”

A new portable device created by two electrical engineers at Penn State is capable of diagnosing diseases in just thirty minutes. It could be a fast, practical option for people all over the world who need to diagnose symptoms, but don’t have easy access to medical facilities. While a fast, portable laboratory result sounds convenient, the engineers say their invention, called AnyMDx, also helps to minimize disease spreading and reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. The device’s tagline is: “A Mobile Molecular Diagnostics Lab for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime.”

Our device requires no expertise to run the advanced molecular diagnosis and it delivers the results to the patient in under 30 minutes.

Weihua Guan

To diagnose a suspected disease, users place a small sample of blood (or any bodily fluid) on a specific disposable microfluidic compact disk (for example, a malaria disk). Then an analyzer checks for parasites, bacteria or viruses, and an optional smartphone app interprets the results. The entire system fits in a small box. Researcher Weihua Guan explained “By leveraging our advanced microfluidic, microelectronic and optic technologies, we are now able to integrate all the steps in nucleic acid diagnosis, including sample preparation, amplification and results reading, in a ‘sample-in-answer-out’ fashion.”

To make sure the device will truly work for “anyone, anywhere, anytime, Guan and his graduate student Gihoon Choi are now working to make it battery-powered and durable enough to withstand harsh environments. They are aiming to launch it in Thailand and Myanmar in summer 2017 to start diagnosing cases of malaria.

Source: Penn State

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