In my last post I talked about five medical breakthroughs in medicine thanks to technology. In the fifth breakthrough I named the mChip (mobile microfluidic chip).
I was sorry that I didn’t tell you more about the mChip so I did a little research to make it up to you.
I found information on these two websites. Of course there are more websites but then it becomes to technical.
I recommend you to watch the Youtube-clip of the first link in which the biggest part is explained.
The goal is or was, because they achieved their goal, to develop a low cost testing device in resource limited settings and that this device could be transported and fabricated everywhere.
This was necessary to avoid long waiting times, trips to hospitals far away that can’t paid,…
Like Samuel Sia tells in the clip that indeed the biggest challenge is to fabricate the card or chip at low cost possible. In the other article I found some numbers and the total price of the card is $1 and the instrument costs $100. This isn’t a lot of money but they are still trying to lower the price. This low cost can be achieved because they use only 3 simple parts: a plastic tube loaded with blood and chemical reagents, molded plastic card and a syringe. Also low amount of molecules are necessary to detect the species.
It is possible to bring the manufacture in place because everything is kept as simple as possible. The facilities can be moved all over the world on short notice and produce the same quality and quantity.
What I find really interesting in this type of research is how a lot of different kinds of science are coupled in one invention and how the progress and development of one new technology has its positive influence on other research.
I find it impressive how few molecules can be inserted in the loop channels and capture the species you want to detect. This is pure biology, the bonding of anti-bodies
In the post-processing to get the results other branches of science are used. The chemical reaction of gold and silver, spectroscopy to detect how much light passes through the loop after the reactions of the antibodies,…
The main idea was to fabricate this mChip but now the research expanded and also focuses on other developments. Like stated in the text they focus on the interaction between cells and their extracellular environment to form human tissues and organs. This research again connects different branches of science including biochemistry, molecular biology, micro-fabrication, micro-fluids, materials chemistry and cell and tissue biology.