Monday, April 29, 2013

A*STAR and Veredus create first lab-on-chip for detection of multiple tropical infectious diseases

SINGAPORE: The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Veredus Laboratories, a leading supplier of innovative molecular diagnostic tools, announced the launch of VereTrop, the first biochip in the molecular diagnostics market that can identify 13 different major tropical diseases from a single blood sample.

With its high level of automation, this lab-on-chip diagnostic kit is poised to transform the quality and efficiency of testing tropical infectious diseases, including dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya, and hand, foot and mouth disease, in the field.

The lead virologist in this project, associate prof. Lisa F.P. Ng from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) said: “Tropical diseases often reflect common symptoms like fever, and may not be accurately diagnosed early by doctors. This portable test kit is a rapid and reliable method to accurately test for multiple pathogenic targets from just one blood sample in a matter of hours.”

Together with Prof. Laurent Renia, an expert in Malaria Immunobiology at SIgN, the team from SIgN has successfully validated the kit on patient samples in the external fields of Northern Thailand, at the Thai-Myanmar border.

Prof. Fran├žois H Nosten, the clinical collaborator at the Oxford Clinical Unit in Mae Sot and director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit said: “This technology opens new possibilities for the accurate and rapid diagnostic of important infectious diseases that remain the main causes of illness in the tropics. Its versatility and ease of use will change the approach to diagnostics at the periphery of health care system.”

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