Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a lab-on-a-disk platform that they believe will be faster, less expensive, and more versatile than similar medical diagnostic tools. Lab officials are now seeking industry partners to license and commercialize the SpinDx technology.
The technology can determine a patient’s white blood count, analyze important protein markers, and process up to 64 assays from a single sample, all in a matter of minutes. The use of SpinDx can have implications for patient care since heart attacks, strokes, infections, certain cancers, and other afflictions could be detected days or weeks sooner than they are today.
The SpinDx platform has several advantages such as:
- Small sample size—Patients have only to provide a pin-prick sample of blood
- Ease of use—Device uses a spinning disk, much like a CD player to manipulate a sample. The disks contain commercially available reagents and antibodies specific to each protein marker
- Custom applications—A plug and play approach will enable physicians to be able to choose among a cardiac disk, immune disk, and similar options
- Inexpensive technology—Disks cost pennies to manufacture
- Quick response time—Results can be delivered to the physician’s computer in 15 minutes
“We envision medical personnel using SpinDX routinely,” said Greg Sommer, the Sandia researcher who spearheaded development of the project. “Instead of standard blood panels and costly lab tests, a SpinDx disk could be processed right in the office while the medical office staff is collecting routine data.
According to Sommer, the team is developing a deployable prototype to run the assays, with the goal of a fully integrated automated device to be used for field testing. “We’ve done most of the testing in a benchtop setting, where we spin the sample on the disk and then read it out on a microscope,” Sommer explained, “The next step is to automate those processes and get the system into users hands.
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