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December 19, 2012

Business Card VChip brings accurate, cheap, and portable blood testing everywhere

The V-chip is the size of a business card and can test for 50 measures (like insulin and other blood proteins, cholesterol, and even signs of viral or bacterial infection all at the same time) from one drop of blood.

The V-Chip could make it possible to bring tests to the bedside, remote areas, and other types of point-of-care needs.


VChip aka volumetric bar-chart chip. Photo credit: Lidong Qin and Yujun Song.



The V-chip, short for "volumetric bar-chart chip," on the other hand, can be carried around in a pocket. It is composed of two thin pieces of glass, about 3 in. by 2 in. In between are wells for four things: (1) hydrogen peroxide, (2) up to 50 different antibodies to specific proteins, DNA or RNA fragments, or lipids of interest, and the enzyme catalase, (3) serum or other sample, and (4) a dye -- any dye will do. Initially, the wells are kept separate from each other. A shift in the glass plates brings the wells into contact, creating a contiguous, zig-zagged space from one end of the V-chip to the other.

As the substance of interest -- say, insulin -- binds to antibodies bound to the glass slide, catalase is made active and splits nearby hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This approach is called ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

SOURCE - Methodist hospital system

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