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  • Researchers at MIT's Little Devices lab

  • have developed a set of modular blocks

  • that can be put together in different ways

  • to produce diagnostic devices for various functions,

  • such as infection detection and monitoring.

  • These plug-and-play devices are low cost, reliable, re-usable,

  • and require little expertise to assemble.

  • The components consist of a sheet

  • of paper sandwiched between a plastic or metal

  • block and a plastic cover.

  • The blocks are color-coded by function,

  • making it easier to assemble for various uses.

  • They are about half an inch on each side

  • and snap together in different ways.

  • Some of the blocks contain channels for liquid samples

  • to flow straight through.

  • Some have turns and mix multiple reagents together,

  • allowing the user to create diagnostics

  • based on one reaction or a series of reactions.

  • Currently, this system is being used

  • by scientists at other academic labs outside of MIT.

  • The modular predefined blocks allow the labs

  • to forget about developing the hardware

  • and focus strictly on the biochemistry.

  • Using this system, called ampli blocks,

  • the MIT team is working on devices

  • to detect cancer, as well as Zika virus

  • and other infectious diseases.

  • The blocks are inexpensive, and they do not

  • require refrigeration or special handling,

  • making them appealing for use in the developing world.

  • Paper diagnostics are usually write one, read once systems.

  • However, ampli blocks can be sterilized

  • in use for additional reactions without additional hardware

  • costs.

  • The MIT team says their long-term goal

  • is to enable small, low resources laboratories

  • to generate their own libraries of plug-and-play diagnostics

  • to treat their local patient populations independently.

  • They have already sent them to labs in Chile and Nicaragua,

  • where they have been used to develop devices

  • to monitor tuberculosis treatment

  • and to test for a genetic variant that makes malaria more

  • difficult to treat.

  • The team is now working on tests for human papillomavirus

  • and Lyme disease, among others.

  • Since the ultimate goal is to get the technology

  • into the hands of small labs globally,

  • the researchers are investigating large scale

  • manufacturing techniques and hope to launch a company soon

  • so they can manufacture and distribute

  • the kits around the world.


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B1 US diagnostics plug modular assemble hardware additional

Plug-and-play diagnostics

  • 51 1
    jbsatvtac1 posted on 2019/08/22
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