“Lab on a chip” tech is a godsend for rural areas

Feb 08, 2017, 5:58 AM EST
(Source: IBM Research/flickr)
(Source: IBM Research/flickr)

When many parts of the world lack expensive laboratory equipment and access to specialty trained healthcare experts, a team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has developed a cheap, diagnostic “lab-on-a-chip,” which can test cell samples for a wide range of diseases from tuberculosis to cancer.

The integrated chip, which can be easily printed onto flexible sheets of polyester using a regular inkjet printer, offers a life-saving solution especially in the developing countries, where the W.H.O. reports thousands of deaths every year because of late diagnosis, writes New Scientist.

Rahim Esfandyarpour, an engineering associate at the Stanford Technology Center, says it took researchers around 20 years to perfect the design and mechanism of the device, which is not only economical but adaptable, capable of diagnosing multiple diseases, requires 20 minutes production process and doesn’t need extensively trained medical staff, notes Popular Science