Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a portable rapid diagnostic system that may change the way patients are screened for disease.
The SpinDx device takes a cartridge the size of a DVD that’s loaded with a sample and spins it. A high speed camera inside watches how samples behave within the notches of the disc that correlate to unique assays. The device is able to perform white blood cell count, identify important protein markers, and run 64 assays on a single sample. In terms of sensitivity, as an example the researchers have shown that their botulinum assay is significantly better than any other test, including the commonly used lab mouse.
System benefits from the announcement:
- Small sample size: Patients merely have to provide a pin-prick sample of blood.
- Ease of use: The device uses a spinning disk, much like a CD player, to manipulate a sample. The disks contain commercially available reagents and antibodies specific to each protein marker.
- Custom applications: Singh envisions a “plug and play” approach whereby the physician chooses among a “cardiac disk,” “immune disk” and similar options.
- Inexpensive technology: The disks — the crux of the technology — cost pennies to manufacture.
- Quick response time: Results can be delivered to the physician’s computer in 15 minutes.