Updated on 26 February 2015
(Photo Courtesy: www.freedigitalphotos.net)
Singapore: Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new paper diagnostic device that can detect Ebola infection in less than ten minutes. Researchers claim that the device can also be used to detect other viral hemorrhagic fevers such as yellow fever and dengue, besides Ebola.
MIT team said that the device is made of triangular silver nanoparticles, which can react and exhibit a different color depending on the size. Accordingly, the team identified red, orange, and green nanoparticles and linked them to antibodies that recognize Ebola, dengue fever, and yellow fever.
Mr Hamad-Schifferli, lead researcher, MIT, said, "When we run a patient sample through the strip, if you see an orange band you know they have yellow fever, if it shows up as a red band you know they have Ebola, and if it shows up green then we know that they have dengue".
Scientists further said that the device worked on the same principle as a pregnancy detector and was easy, accurate and quick. Current methods of Ebola testing are elaborate and time consuming, employing complex PCR assays. The team said that the kit will be highly useful in many African nations where testing facilities are unavailable.