University of Rhode Island engineers have created a new paper-based platform for conducting a wide range of complex medical diagnostics, Science Daily reported Monday.
Research lead Mohammad Faghri said the technology can potentially be applied to a wide variety of diagnostics, such as Lyme disease, HIV, Ebola and malaria, adding that "if someone comes up with a new biomarker for detecting a disease, we can create a test for it using our platform."
According to the news source, numerous companies have expressed interest in adapting various applications to the new platform.
"We combined the well-established test strip technology, micro-patterning techniques and our innovative paper-based valves to create a new class of strip tests that are capable of autonomously handling multiple reagents," Faghri noted, adding that "the sample fluid activates the flow of reagents in a predetermined sequence and time. When combined with an optical reader, which could even be a conventional smart phone, the lab-on-paper device provides accurate quantitative results."
"Our next step is to find investors to help take us to the next level," said collaborator Constantine Anagnostopoulos, adding that "we're looking to partner with medical or biological companies that have identified disease biomarkers or other molecules of interest for which we could develop tests for using our platform."
ProThera Biologics identified a biomarker that indicates a patient is going into shock from sepsis, and the company collaborated with Faghri and Anagnostopoulos to develop a paper-based rapid test using this biomarker.