Plug-and-play diagnostics

[WHOOSH] [MUSIC PLAYING] 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
for various functions, such as infection
detection and monitoring. These plug-and-play devices are
low cost, reliable, re-usable, and require little
expertise to assemble. The components
consist of a sheet of paper sandwiched
between a plastic or metal block and a plastic cover. The blocks are
color-coded by function, making it easier to
assemble for various uses. They are about half
an inch on each side and snap together
in different ways. Some of the blocks contain
channels for liquid samples to flow straight through. Some have turns and mix
multiple reagents together, allowing the user to
create diagnostics based on one reaction or
a series of reactions. Currently, this
system is being used by scientists at other
academic labs outside of MIT. The modular predefined
blocks allow the labs to forget about
developing the hardware and focus strictly
on the biochemistry. 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,
and they do not require refrigeration
or special handling, making them appealing for
use in the developing world. Paper diagnostics are usually
write one, read once systems. However, ampli blocks
can be sterilized in use for additional reactions
without additional hardware costs. The MIT team says
their long-term goal is to enable small, low
resources laboratories to generate their own libraries
of plug-and-play diagnostics to treat their local patient
populations independently. They have already sent them to
labs in Chile and Nicaragua, where they have been
used to develop devices to monitor
tuberculosis treatment and to test for a genetic
variant that makes malaria more difficult to treat. The team is now working on
tests for human papillomavirus and Lyme disease, among others. Since the ultimate goal
is to get the technology into the hands of
small labs globally, the researchers are
investigating large scale manufacturing techniques and
hope to launch a company soon so they can manufacture
and distribute the kits around the world.

20 Replies to “Plug-and-play diagnostics”

  1. First they spread Cancer (Starbucks)
    Then they sell you these
    They make money
    Then they bomb your country / bully trade allies
    End of story

  2. can someone explain how liquid on strips of paper is helping with diagnostics? it just looks like a toy to me

  3. I like that idea. But is there any benefit to just having all the papers in special blocks, than just dip the strips one by one, or even bundled together? This seems more like a neat surface-tension based gimmick.

  4. It would be faster to have any multiple screen tests by this new invention high tech and get results within just few minutes instead of waiting for at fast as least 3 days. I like it and just wonder any investors by this Shark Tank TV program. That rocks the lab business industry……………… shock shock shark………………………….. STF……………………………….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *