Smartphone Medical Device Can Test For Three STDs in 15 Minutes

Smartphone dongles performed a point-of-care HIV and syphilis test from finger prick whole blood in 15 minutes, operated by health care workers trained on a software app. Credit: Samiksha Nayak, Columbia Engineering

Smartphone dongles performed a point-of-care HIV and syphilis test from finger prick whole blood in 15 minutes, operated by health care workers trained on a software app. Credit: Samiksha Nayak, Columbia Engineering

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tassaneewan Laksanasopin
PhD Candidate
Molecular and Microscale Bioengineering Lab
Columbia University

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We miniaturized and integrated all components needed for blood test (similar to ELISA) to be run on a smartphone accessory for point-of-care testing of infectious diseases. The device simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers for HIV, treponemal syphilis and nontreponemal syphilis from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. In a blinded experiment in three health clinics in Rwanda, local health care workers obtained diagnostic results from 96 patients enrolled in prevention of mother-to-child transmission and voluntary counseling programs. The test performance from our triplexed test was 92-100% sensitivity and 79-92% specificity compared to the gold standard of lab-based HIV ELISA, Treponema pallidum haemagglutination and rapid plasma reagin. Importantly, patient preference for the dongle was 97% compared to lab-based tests, with most pointing to the convenience of obtaining quick results with a single finger prick. This work suggests coupling microfluidics with recent advances in consumer electronics can make certain lab-based diagnostics accessible to almost any population with access to smartphones.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: The combined hardware, software, and microfluidic specifications suggest that new consumer-oriented medical devices are on the precipice of moving beyond glucose monitoring, vital signs, and wellness into clinical diagnostics for endemic diseases, including HIV and syphilis.

Citation:

A smartphone dongle for diagnosis of infectious diseases at the point of care

Tassaneewan Laksanasopin Tiffany W. Guo Samiksha Nayak Archana A. Sridhara Shi Xie Owolabi O. Olowookere Paolo Cadinu Fanxing Meng Natalie H. Chee Jiyoon Kim Curtis D. Chin Elisaphane Munyazesa Placidie Mugwaneza Alex J. Rai Veronicah Mugisha Arnold R. Castro David Steinmiller Vincent Linder Jessica E. Justman Sabin Nsanzimana3 and Samuel K. Sia

Sci Transl Med 4 February 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 273, p. 273re1
Sci. Transl. Med. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa0056

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:, Tassaneewan Laksanasopin, PhD Candidate, & Molecular and Microscale Bioengineering Lab Columbia University (2015). Smartphone Medical Device Can Test For Three STDs in 15 Minutes MedicalResearch.com