Design improvements for a hand-held diagnostic test device for infectious diseases
Over the past three decades the time it takes for clinical laboratories to diagnose an infection has decreased from two weeks for culture to 3 hours for DNA testing following the introduction of large, automated bench top equipment. Despite this tremendous improvement, three hours is still too slow to allow rapid and accurate diagnosis of a viral or bacterial infection and the cost is too expensive for resource poor developing countries. The current project is designed to acelerate the development of an instrument-free, hand-held and disposable point-of-need test device that will allow clinicians to take a nasal swab and detect influenza in 20 minutes. The rapid and accurate diagnosis of an infection will ensure that the correct medication is prescribed and that the patient has an increased chance for a full recovery without complications and that he or she does not spread the infection to other members of the family or community.