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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Diagnostic device uses smartphone to check almost 100 samples at once

• By Ben Coxworth

Most such devices, however, can only analyze individual samples. By contrast, a new one can check 96 samples for diseases, all at one time.

Known as the mReader, the portable device was designed by a Washington State University team led by assistant professor Lei Li, working in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania's associate professor Ping Wang.

It contains 96 sample wells, each one of which can be loaded with fluid samples from individual patients. Users add a reagent to those samples, causing them to change to a specific color if a target biomarker is present. A smartphone mounted on the device then takes a photo of all the samples, with a computer program subsequently analyzing the color of the samples in that photo, determining if each patient is infected with the malady in question – the program can identify 12 common viral and bacterial infectious diseases.

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