Test Your kidneys With Portable Device That Works With Smartphone

Test Your kidneys With Portable Device That Works With Smartphone

Researchers at the University of California have developed a smartphone based lightweight and field-portable device that carries out tests and transmits data without constant visits to a clinic for people with diabetes and chronic kidney problems.

The main task of the 150-gram (5.3-oz) device is to measure levels of a blood protein called albumin in urine, a sign of danger when found in urine. The phone attachment is an opto-mechanical device that projects beams of visible light through two small fluorescent tubes attached to it. One tube contains a control liquid while the other contains the urine samples mixed with fluorescent dyes. The fluorescent light passes through an additional lens before being captured by the smartphone.

The processing of the data is done very fast by an Android application that analyzes the raw images in less than one second, so the device can transmit the test results to a database or health care provider. Accuracy levels fall within accepted clinical standards, being accurate to within less than 10 micrograms per milliliter.

The new device was developed in the research lab of Aydogan Ozcan, a professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, and associate director of the California NanoSystems Institute. Besides developing the light-emitting attachment, Ozan's lab also created the disposable test tubes, the Android app and software to transmit the data.

The time it takes to conduct a test, including preparation of a sample using a small syringe to inject the urine into a fluorescent tube, is about five minutes. Ozcan estimates that the device — for which his lab also has developed an iPhone app — could be produced commercially for US$50 to $100 per unit.

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Write by: RC - Sunday, September 1, 2013

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