Point-of-Care Testing with Silicon Lab-on-a-Chip
Silicon lab-on-a-chip may provide cheaper, accessible diagnostic test
Olivia Gaskill | | Quick Read
An infectious disease micro-laboratory – not long ago, a concept you might think only possible for a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids reboot. But researchers at Imperial College London have developed a disposable silicon chip that performs point-of-care, micro-qPCR testing for bacterial infection (1). Silicon chips are typically expensive to manufacture and production requires a cleanroom, but this chip can be developed in a standard laboratory – reducing cost and time to produce.
“Rather than sending swabs to the lab or going to a clinic, the lab could come to you on a fingernail-sized chip,” said lead researcher Firat Güder (2). “You would use the test much like how people with diabetes use blood sugar tests, by providing a sample and waiting for results – except this time it’s for infectious diseases.”
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- E Nunez-Bajo et al., Nat Commun, 11, 6176 (2020). PMID: 33268779.
- Imperial College London (2020). Available at https://bit.ly/37i7OHg.