Scientists at Emory University and Georgia Tech have developed a new device called AcµRay that uses sound waves to detect biomarkers, potentially leading to a general purpose system for diagnosing a variety of conditions. The device accepts a special modular USB stick that contains a microchip coated with antibodies that stick to the biomarker being looked for. Once the biomarkers get attached to the chip, they change its acoustic signature. This is detected using the main unit into which the USB stick is inserted, allowing it to be used with chips coated with different antibodies.
The system is still in the development stage, but there’s clearly a potential for point of care testing for diseases that are currently only caught once symptoms develop.