This handheld device may spot TB in just 20 minutes!

This Britain-based technology company claims that this device runs on a solar-powered battery and is a low-cost handheld device.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: In what could be called as another significant addition in the field of health, some Britain-based technologists have come up with a smartphone-sized handheld DNA analyser that may diagnose deadly tuberculosis (TB) in just 15-20 minutes.

This Britain-based technology company claims that this device runs on a solar-powered battery and is a low-cost handheld device.

"Q-Poc", as it is called, may analyse biological samples submitted via a small-sized cartridge, the Guardian reported.

Swabs can be used to detect sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) while sputum is used to detect TB, its makers claimed.

"We are now at the point that we have a working prototype that can perform a highly sensitive tuberculosis test from a sample through to results in 15-20 minutes," Jonathan O’Halloran, the company’s co-founder, was quoted as saying.

According to its developers, “Q-Poc” analyses the DNA of pathogens rather than proteins within the sample. 

The device uses microfluidic technology that allows fluids to pass through various microscopic channels.

A chemical process then breaks down the sample into a molecular soup. It is then sent through a nanoscale-based filter system that isolates the DNA for analysis.

The company plans to launch the product for the use by health care providers by as early as 2018.

(With IANS inputs)

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