Innovative Low-Cost Smartphone Accessory With a Global Impact

The device, developed by a biomedical engineer at Columbia University to detect 3 infectious disease markers, was piloted by healthcare workers in Rwanda. The work, which received funding from the Gates Foundation and the World Bank, among others, was published in the recent issue of Science Translational Medicine.

A team of researchers, led by Samuel K. Sia, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Columbia Engineering, has developed a low-cost smartphone accessory that can perform a point-of-care test that simultaneously detects three infectious disease markers from a finger prick of blood in just 15 minutes. The device replicates, for the first time, all mechanical, optical, and electronic functions of a lab-based blood test. Specifically, it performs an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) without requiring any stored energy: all necessary power is drawn from the smartphone. It performs a triplexed immunoassay not currently available in a single test format: HIV antibody, treponemal-specific antibody for syphilis, and non-treponemal antibody for active syphilis infection.

Link to the complete press release on EurekaAlert!:

Link to the article in Science Translational Medicine:

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