Friday, January 21, 2011

Some news on Lab-on-a-chip

I've blogged a couple times about some new technology known as Lab-on-a-chip. Currently in development this product will allow cheaper blood diagnostics. A Forbes article I read years ago speculated that eventually we'd have dozens or hundreds of tests on a single silicon chip for pennies and you could run tests every day, at the same time you take your vitamins. There are a number of dieases and conditions that if you catch them early are much more manageable.

A lab-on-a-chip for fast, inexpensive blood tests provides an update on the current state of the technology. It starts with:

We’ve all experienced the frustrating experience of waiting hours at a doctor’s office, only then to go into a room with a nurse and have to give a test tube of blood. Your blood is then sent to a lab for tests. Again, you wait days for the results. Enough of the waiting game.
The good news? The slow diagnosis process might soon change, thanks to a certain lab-on-chip technology that has been developed in a lab in Rhode Island.


Later in the article it reports on some costs associated with this:

The sensor costs $3,200 and the tests cost $1.50.
The $1.50 price covers the cost of the credit-card sized cartridge and reagents that are needed to perform the test.


The $3,200 price is a bit steep, but I'm confident that over time, as demand increases and the technology improves, the price will fall.

Maybe it won't be too long before I'll be doing my daily blood test.

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