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CSIR – CCMB Work towards Paper Microfluidics Based Affordable Diagnostics

17 Feb 2017

In its unending quest to bring affordable health care solutions and diagnostic practices  CSIR-CCMB is working towards “Affordable clinical diagnostic using paper-based Microfluidics devices using micro and nanotechnological approaches”, such as blood typing, ESR, pregnancy kits (livestocks), cholesterol, low temperature molecular diagnosis (nucleic acid detection) etc. apart from tools such as non-expensive subtract for  surface enhance Raman spectroscopy (SERS).

Early diagnosis significantly reduces the health care burden and also improves the treatment outcome. Our country needs affordable, scalable diagnostics that can be used by unskilled persons in a semi-urban and rural settings; preferably not requiring the cold chain. Paper microfluidics-based, point-of-care systems are eminently suitable for our needs. CSIR – CCMB, has built the capacity to design and develop such paper microfluidic systems.  They are now developing paper-based microfluidic devices for blood typing, determination of Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate, pregnancy detection kit for livestock etc. The CSIR-CCMB combine is also working towards developing DNA-based diagnostics on a paper-based system for human diseases.

Pregnancy test for cattle: Early detection of pregnancy would help to shorten the calving interval and plan for re-breeding. This leads to maximizing the milk production thereby enhancing the farmer’s income (The value of the dairy industry is Rs 5 lakh crore in 2015 and reported to be growing). CCMB has developed a strategy to build a paper-based device for an early pregnancy test in cattle, where a newly identified biomarker can be detected from the fecal sample by the naked eye. Another important aspect of such a paper-based pregnancy kit is its sensitivity and detection methodology that even an untrained person can perform the tests. Furthermore, these devices use bio-functionalization paper to enhance the stability of reagents without the requirement of cold-chain.

Blood typing: Blood typing is a critical requirement for blood banks and all blood transfusions at the hospitals. Although the current method for blood typing is easy and not very expensive,  manual tests have the potential for human error and require cold-chain to preserve the required reagents. CCMB has developed technology to fabricate bio-functionalized paper-devices, which can be used and interpreted by an untrained person. These devices require only 10 to 15 microliter of blood and less than 5 minutes to determine the blood group. The bio-functionalization of paper helps in the long-term stability of blood typing antibodies at room temperature. This technology is ready for use.

{Feature has been uploaded by CSIR (Unit for Science Dissemination), Ministry of Science & Technology, New Delhi}.

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