Blood tests can be fairly expensive most of the times which prohibits a huge faction of population in poor countries from taking them. A non-profit organization, Diagnostics for All, has now developed an excellent paper-based blood test which costs only pennies.
Diagnostics for All was created with the funding from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The non-profit organization is headed by Harvard Professor George Whitesides and seeks to create affordable yet sustainable health solutions for those who can’t afford expensive treatments.
The organization envisioned the idea of a paper-based blood test nearly five years ago. The test is nearly ready now and comprises of two sheets fused together. One sheet contains reagents which can react with liver enzymes. The other contains a dye which can change color and tell if a reaction has taken place between the reagent and the enzymes.
The test is primarily geared at measuring the extent of liver damage by discerning the concentration of liver enzymes in the blood. All it takes to complete the test is a mere drop of blood which is dropped on to the stamp-sized paper. The paper then changes color depending upon the amount of liver enzymes.
This new blood-test is very significant in that if it is approved by regulatory authorities and gains traction in the medical world, it can truly revolutionize diagnostic tests. Professor Whitesides and his team are working on a number of other blood tests for other diseases. And if they achieve this, they may be able to make diagnostics a very affordable option for a lot of poor families.
Watch the video below to get a glimpse of this new paper-based test:
Source: Harvard research
Courtesy: Singularity Hub