Updated on 3 August 2015
Singapore: US researchers have developed a new low-cost lab-on-a-chip device to aid analysis of sputum from patients with pulmonary diseases such as tuberculosis and asthma. The study published in the journal Lab on a Chip elaborated that the new method will help in easing diagnosis for patients and aid in early detection and speedy recovery.
With this device, all biospecimens are safely contained in a single disposable component. The system can be easily operated by a nurse with a touch of a few buttons. The patient could even operate the device at home, said the study.
Lead researcher, Mr Tony Jun Huang, professor at the Pennsylvania State University, said, "This is the first on-chip sputum liquefier anyone has developed so far. The device will aid in accurate diagnosis and provide alternate treatment approaches for patients with pulmonary diseases."
"Current analysis method has several disadvantages," said the team, "Human specimens can be contagious, and sputum analysis requires handling of specimens in several discrete machines. Also, the sample size required for analysis is often larger than a person can easily produce."