'Lab-In-Pocket' Going To Be a Reality Very Soon
In present scenario, when we fall sick, our physician may take blood then send it to the lab and wait until the results. However, in near future, doctors might be able to carry out such tests right on the spot on a piece of plastic about the size of credit card.
These labs-on-a-chip would be quick, inexpensive and highly portable. What's more is these could be used miles from the nearest medical clinic to test for anything from HIV to diabetes.
Researchers said the lab-on-a-chip (LOC) can run no more than test or two and that's because the chips are designed manually. However if these LOCs are made using computer-aided designs, these could run dozens of test with a single drop of blood.
"In a very short time, you could test for many conditions," said Shiyan Hu, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan Technological University, in the press release. "This really would be an entire lab on a chip."
Hu said, he had taken the first step. "We have developed software to design the hardware," he said.
"It has taken us four years to do the software, but to manufacture the LOC would be inexpensive," Hu said. "The materials are very cheap, and the results are more accurate than a conventional lab's."
Researchers said they were looking forward to fabricate their own biochip using their software.
The work has been featured on the cover of the March edition of IEEE Transactions on Nanobiosciences.