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17 February 2010 Microfluidic diagnostics for low-resource settings
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Diagnostics for low-resource settings need to be foremost inexpensive, but also accurate, reliable, rugged and suited to the contexts of the developing world. Diagnostics for global health, based on minimally-instrumented, microfluidicsbased platforms employing low-cost disposables, has become a very active research area recently-thanks, in part, to new funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and other sources. This has led to a number of interesting prototype devices that are now in advanced development or clinical validation. These devices include disposables and instruments that perform multiplexed PCR-based assays for enteric, febrile, and vaginal diseases, as well as immunoassays for diseases such as malaria, HIV, and various sexually transmitted diseases. More recently, instrument-free diagnostic disposables based on isothermal nucleic-acid amplification have been developed. Regardless of platform, however, the search for truly low-cost manufacturing methods that would enable affordable systems (at volume, in the appropriate context) remains a significant challenge. Here we give an overview of existing platform development efforts, present some original research in this area at PATH, and reiterate a call to action for more.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kenneth R. Hawkins and Bernhard H. Weigl "Microfluidic diagnostics for low-resource settings", Proc. SPIE 7593, Microfluidics, BioMEMS, and Medical Microsystems VIII, 75930L (17 February 2010);

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