Ebola is continuing to infect people in the West Africa, but current testing techniques for the disease still take too much time. A new paper strip diagnostic device developed at MIT can spot Ebola, as well as dengue and yellow fever, simultaneously within ten minutes.
Using lateral flow technology, the device works much like a pregnancy test strip. Three different kinds of silver nanoparticles are used, each type having antibodies for a specific disease attached to them. When blood is passed through the strip the target viral proteins latch onto their matching antibodies and pull up the silver nanoparticles. The color of the test strip identifies the viral infection that the patient has. Hopefully this easy to use technology can lead to fewer people being infected and can help those that have the virus to receive earlier care.
From the study in Lab on a Chip:
Rapid point-of-care (POC) diagnostic devices are needed for field-forward screening of severe acute systemic febrile illnesses. Multiplexed rapid lateral flow diagnostics have the potential to distinguish among multiple pathogens, thereby facilitating diagnosis and improving patient care. Here, we present a platform for multiplexed pathogen detection using multi-colored silver nanoplates. This design requires no external excitation source and permits multiplexed analysis in a single channel, facilitating integration and manufacturing.