News | December 21, 2012

Pocket Test Measures 50 Things in a Drop of Blood

V-Chip Methodist Hospital Research Institute MD Anderson Cancer Center

December 21, 2012 — A new device about the size of a business card could allow health care providers to test blood for insulin and other blood proteins, cholesterol, and even signs of viral or bacterial infection all at the same time — with one drop of blood. Preliminary tests of the V-chip, created by scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute and MD Anderson Cancer Center, were published by Nature Communications.

"The V-Chip could make it possible to bring tests to the bedside, remote areas, and other types of point-of-care needs," said Nanomedicine faculty member Lidong Qin, Ph.D., the project's principal investigator. "V-Chip is accurate, cheap, and portable. It requires only a drop of a sample, not a vial of blood, and can do 50 different tests in one go."

Similar assays are typically done using heavy, large, complex equipment such as mass spectrometers, or require fluoroscopy analysis, which must also be done in a lab.

The V-chip, short for "volumetric bar-chart chip," on the other hand, can be carried around in a pocket. It is composed of two thin pieces of glass, about 3 inches by 2 inches. In between are wells for four things: (1) hydrogen peroxide, (2) up to 50 different antibodies to specific proteins, DNA or RNA fragments, or lipids of interest, and the enzyme catalase, (3) serum or other sample, and (4) a dye — any dye will do. Initially, the wells are kept separate from each other. A shift in the glass plates brings the wells into contact, creating a contiguous, zig-zagged space from one end of the V-chip to the other. As the substance of interest — say, insulin — binds to antibodies bound to the glass slide, catalase is made active and splits nearby hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen gas. This approach is called ELISA, or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The oxygen pushes the dye up the column. The more present insulin is, the more oxygen is created, and the farther dye is pushed up the slide. Tests show that distance is more or less proportional to the amount of substrate present, in this example, insulin. The end result is a visual bar chart. Easy to read and accurate, Qin says, though development continues.

"The sensitivity of the V-chip can be improved if narrower and longer bar channels are used," Qin said. "Our next steps are to make the device more user friendly and be so simple to use, it barely needs instructions."

Qin is also a Weill Cornell Medical College assistant professor of cell and developmental biology.

Also contributing to the Nature Communications paper were Yujun Song, Ph.D., Yuanqing Zhang, Ph.D., Paul Bernard, and Youli Zu, M.D., Ph.D., of The Methodist Hospital, and James M. Reuben, Ph.D., Naoto Ueno, M.D., and Ralph Arlinghaus, Ph.D., of MD Anderson Cancer Center. This work was funded with grants from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, the Emily Hermann Research Fund, and the Golfers Against Cancer Foundation.

For more information: www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v3/n12/full/ncomms2292.html

Related Content

Florida Medical Center First in State to Offer High Sensitive STAT Blood Test
News | Blood Testing | September 07, 2017
In July, The Heart Institute at Florida Medical Center became the first hospital in the state of Florida to offer the U...
Patients With Low Corus CAD Test Score Less Likely to Undergo Cardiac Referra
News | Blood Testing | May 02, 2017
CardioDx Inc. recently announced the publication of results from the multi-center, community-based PRESET Registry in...
New Blood Test Predicts Major Cardiac Events Better Than Clinical Evaluation of Other Common Risk Factors
News | Blood Testing | April 28, 2017
Prevencio Inc. announced the publication of data demonstrating that a simple new blood test is more accurate than...
New Study Pursues Universal Sample Bank for Troponin Tests
News | Blood Testing | April 13, 2017
April 13, 2017 — A study published recently in the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s (AACC)...
PTS Diagnostics, FDA 510k clearance, extended HDL range, lipid panel test strips
News | Blood Testing | April 05, 2017
PTS Diagnostics announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared an expanded top range for...
heart attack evaluation, blood test, HEART Score, ER, emergency room, Circulation Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes study
News | Blood Testing | March 01, 2017
Up to 40 percent of emergency room (ER) patients with chest pain can safely go home in a little under 2 hours, using a...
troponin blood test, heart disease risk, heart attack, British Heart Foundation, BHF
News | Blood Testing | January 04, 2017
A high-sensitivity blood test could be used to predict which patients are at risk of a heart attack according to new...
Alere, INRatio PT/INR Monitor, voluntary recall, FDA
News | Blood Testing | July 12, 2016
July 12, 2016 — Following a collaborative process with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Alere Inc.
News | Blood Testing | March 22, 2016
March 22, 2016 — Critical Diagnostics announced that it entered into a license agreement for the exclusive worldwide
Overlay Init