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With just one drop of blood, Japanese chip detects disease in 30 minutes

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posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 05:53 AM
A Japanese firm has developed a plastic chip half the size of a business card which it said could detect a number of diseases, including cancer, within 30 minutes.
Conventional diagnostic chips are made of glass and can be used only after the blood samples are refined with separate equipment.

But the chip by Toray Industries Inc., Japan's biggest maker of synthetic fibers, is made of synthetic resin and can find certain types of proteins in the blood.

"An early detection is very crucial in curing serious diseases such as cancer. We want to help people detect diseases at an early stage," Masashi Higasa, Toray's senior research associate, told AFP.

"On the surface of the chip, there is a chemical-soaked 'corridor' where blood goes through for refinement. At the end of the corridor, only essential proteins in the blood remains for a diagnosis," he said in an interview.

"The whole process takes about 30 minutes. It is the fastest medical diagnostic chip," he said."

In this age of bio-terror this is an amazingly important discovery. The implications of disease control are staggering.

posted on Feb, 28 2005 @ 01:54 PM
Sounds like a time-of-flight mass spec on a chip. Several companies in the US are working on these. Northrupp-Grumman is actually contracted to build these for a company I work for as a bioterrorist agent detection platform.

But in general, this is the future of molecular diagnostics, and is being loosely referred to as molecular profiling. It has all sorts of potential applications from disease detection, to bioterrorist agent profiling etc. Several research groups are developing databases of molecular profiles taken from diseased and healthy individuals in an effort to correlated certain aspects of a profile with a statistically significant possibility of disease. These types of technologies coupled with the microarray technologies that are already well established can really help elucidate the complex interactions that occur within a cell.

Apparently the Japanese are a little farther along on this than Northrupp-Grumman, but NG says they've got this technology working. It will just be a matter of time before we start to see such products on the market.

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