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Research Offers Promise of Devices That Can Detect Disease With a Drop of Blood

samzenpus posted about 10 months ago | from the just-a-drop dept.

Medicine 27

An anonymous reader writes "An NJIT research professor known for his cutting-edge work with carbon nanotubes is overseeing the manufacture of a prototype lab-on-a-chip that would someday enable a physician to detect disease or virus from just one drop of liquid, including blood. 'Scalable nano-bioprobes with sub-cellular resolution for cell detection,' (Elsevier, Vol. 45), which will publish on July 15, 2013 but is available now online, describes how NJIT research professors Reginald Farrow and Alokik Kanwal, his former postdoctoral fellow, and their team have created a carbon nanotube-based device to noninvasively and quickly detect mobile single cells with the potential to maintain a high degree of spatial resolution."

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27 comments

Squat on filthy cocks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096373)

As you already know, my rancid, feces-infested asshole is a tadpole sucker. My repugnant rectum will slurp every last tadpole out of your fetid cock! What a sloppy rectum I have... What say you?

Re:Squat on filthy cocks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096425)

What say you?

Hodor!

Re:Squat on filthy cocks! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096505)

goatse.cx

Points at AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096635)

Hideki!

How would one detect bloodless diseases? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096547)

Calling the "editors" here idiots would be an insult to true idiots everywhere.

Re:How would one detect bloodless diseases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096653)

Hanlon's Razor (Amended):
Never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by indolence.

This will only hurt a bit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096569)

This tool would be indispensable when deciding if it's a good idea to bring "Candy the Stripper" home after a long night of drinking. When will the personal version be available?

Re:This will only hurt a bit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44097425)

That would be extremely sexist.. However, if she wanted to test you, that would be ok as she needs to be 'empowered.' Refusal will be a federal offense.

what is it about biotech (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096579)

that brings out the very worst gee whiz flying nuclear powered personal cars batman style here on slashdot ?

how big is a drop ?

About 50 - 100 uL (microliter, one cubic mm)

What sensitivity do you need to detect viruses and bacteria ?

you need to be able to detect things in the organism per mL range
A mL is 1,000 uL
Therefore, by definition, a drop of blood is prettty much useless for detecting viruses and bacteria in a serious way (oh, you died of S aureus sepsis cause we only sampled a small drop of blood and missed the infection...sorry bout that...)

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096619)

Great. Will Mayo still take my insurance company for $500 a pop for these tests? Between several routine, check-the-box blood tests and two routine, check-the-box stool tests it cost over $4500 to diagnose the C-Diff I caught while visiting someone in a hospital.

When the bubble finally pops on the US healthcare racket there isn't going to be a lot of sympathy.

Lab on a chip? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 10 months ago | (#44096701)

Isn't this old news? I seem to remember reading stories about the potential of this over 5 years ago - but they were talking about doing a couple hundred tests on a drop of blood.

Well, this is perhaps a bit more specific, which would be a good thing, but it seems to be a major step back.

Though if they can get it good enough to tell bacterial strains with a single drop without having to do DNA analysis, it might help with treating such diseases with phages(viruses that infect/kill bacteria), allowing us to conserve broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Re:Lab on a chip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096933)

Isn't this old news?

No one had created one yet. These guys have an innovative method. They wrote a paper about it and talked to a reporter who wrote an article that says what's new. I'd quote them, but really, just click on the links instead of asking next time.

George Whitesides: lab the size of a postage stamp (2)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 10 months ago | (#44097579)

From 2009: http://www.ted.com/talks/george_whitesides_a_lab_the_size_of_a_postage_stamp.html [ted.com]
"Among his solutions is a low-cost "lab-on-a-chip," made of paper and carpet tape. The paper wicks bodily fluids -- urine, for example -- and turns color to provide diagnostic information, such as how much glucose or protein is present. His goal is to distribute these simple paper diagnostic systems to developing countries, where people with basic training can administer tests and send results to distant doctors via cameraphone."

"Elsevier" is not a journal (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44096865)

"Elsevier" is a publisher, not a publication. The actual journal reference is Biosensors and Bioelectronics Volume 45, 15 July 2013, Pages 267–273

Solution in search of a problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44097093)

I can already get POC testing for common testing in my ED. I can get a gas, H/H, most of a chem-7 in the time it takes to get the drop of blood and 2 minutes to run the I-stat. I can get a Urine Dip in a couple of minutes while I wait for microscopic UA. It strikes me that if you're in a reasonably sized medical facility you have access to a real lab and so your POC testing needs are limited and generally well met; if you draw everything when you obtain access you can get the POC labs back right away and begin treatment while you await the rest of your labs. If you're out in bumblefark if doesn't actually matter very much if you can get POC testing like this, what you need is an MD who can identify sick vs. not-sick and ship the former to a higher level of care.

The one niche I can see wider POC testing mattering for would be chronic disease management where you want to get routine surveillance labs while titrating treatment. Right now, I draw those labs and then send the patient home and follow-up by phone. This way I know what the labs are while the patient is in-office and results can be addressed in person.

Don't forget Jack Andraka... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44097479)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2012/06/18/wait-did-this-15-year-old-from-maryland-just-change-cancer-treatment/

Andraka’s diagnostic breakthrough is a humble piece of filter paper, except that it is dipped in a solution of carbon nanotubes, which are hollow cylinders with walls the thickness of a single atom, coated with a specific antibody designed to bind with the virus or protein you’re looking for. Andraka’s key insight is that there are noticeable changes in the electrical conductivity of the nanotubes when the distances between them changes. When the antibodies on the surface of the nanotubes come in contact with a target protein, the proteins bind to the tubes and spread them apart a tiny bit. That shift in the spaces between tubes can be detected by an electrical meter. Andraka used a $50 meter from the Home Depot to do the trick but, he says, doctors can just as easily insert his test-strips into the kinds of devices used by millions of diabetics around the world.

Vampires will shut this down (2)

locopuyo (1433631) | about 10 months ago | (#44098141)

This isn't going to go anywhere. Vampires are going to buy it and bury it so you have to give pints so they can send it to the "lab" for testing.

Outrageous claims (from a minimal paper) (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44098527)

are a standard theme among lab-on-chip researchers. It should be keot in mind that micro total analysis systems (micro-tas) are thought about since the first minituarized electrophoresis systems were shown. But as a matter of fact, there are no point of care diagnostic tools alvailable to date that do not rely on the dip stick (or generally lateral flow) design. Why is that ?

Well the reasons are:
* Blood is a hard matrix (even urin is not fun to deal with apart from the smell)
* Valving/dosing systems on a chip are still very much experimental and not easily miniaturized (miniature chip + macroscopic pumps)
* Reliability is and will be a problem. (Dust and material wear... don't get me started on throwaway devices)

My two cents.

not yet a significant step (1)

Goldsmith (561202) | about 10 months ago | (#44100529)

Biosensors and Bioelectronics (where this was published) publishes dozens of papers a month like this. There are many equivalent journals published by Wiley, ACS and I'm sure many smaller University presses. We're at a point where publishing a paper is not a useful metric to demonstrate an advancement. There are too many recycled ideas, impractical demonstrations and outright (though peer-reviewed) lies.

Does he have a clinical partner willing to test this in a working hospital? Does he have financial backers willing to front him the couple million necessary to bring this to market? Does he have customers waiting to purchase finished devices?

It's been 20 years we've been working on nanoelectronic chemical sensors. We've been watching individual cells for more than a decade. Very few of us have made a serious attempt at making an actual commercialized prototype. None of us have succeeded. This business of patting each other on the back for publishing needs to end. Outside a small community (which evidently includes slashdot editors), nanotechnology in general has lost credibility as anything other than an academic pursuit.

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