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Friday, April 24, 2009


The Technology Magazine of March/April 2009 issue reports that George Whitesides has created cheap, easy-to-use diagnostic test out of paper !!
" Diagnostic tools that are cheap to make, simple to use, and rugged enough for rural areas could save thousands of lives in poor parts of the world. To make such devices, Harvard University Professor George Whitesides is coupling advanced microfluidics with one of humankind's oldest technologies: Paper.The result is a versatile, disposable test that can check a tiny amount of urine or blood for evidence of infectious diseases or chronic conditions.
The finished devices are squares of paper roughly the size of postage stamps. The edge of a square is dipped into a urine sample or pressed against a drop of blood, and the liquid moves through channels into testing wells. Depending on the chemicals present, different reactions occur in the wells, turning the paper blue,red, yellow, or green. A reference key is used to interpret the results."
"Currently Mr. Whitesides is developing a test to diagnose liver failure, which is indicated by elevated levels of certain enzymes in blood. In Countries with advanced healthcare, there are tests which indicate if there are liver problems caused by certain drugs but in poor countries there are not too many fecilities for this type of tests and the new tests being developed by Mr. Whitesides with paper based tests can save a lot of lives with very little expense and give the saftey margin.
*Ref: MIT's Technology Review March-April 2009.*
For more information please read the Magazine's
Page 44 Under Medicine Paper Diagnostic Test.
*Prepared By George Kurian for "New World"

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