IIT Kharagpur researchers develop low-cost blood test device

PTI Aug 14, 2019

Researchers from IIT Kharagpur have developed a low-cost diagnostic device which can perform various pathological tests by using blood taken from a fingerprick.


The device requires only a paper strip based kit integrated with a smartphone to enable analytics and readout functions and an LED light for imaging, an IIT KGP statement said on 13th August. The key aspect of the kit, developed by a research team led by Prof Suman Chakraborty, is operational simplicity and extremely low running cost, it said.

While under laboratory conditions each test would cost Re 1 or even less, the cost is expected to marginally vary in case of commercialisation of the product, the statement said. On the operational front, the device requires a single drop of blood and a drop of reagent (a substance used to cause a chemical reaction) on the paper-based reaction chamber. This detection method is designed to harness the flow of blood from an input source pad to a reaction pad for diagnosis.

"Compared to other reported portable devices for haemoglobin estimation, this device is implementable without any trained personnel at resource-limited settings, Chakraborty said. Extensive validation tests have been conducted for blood glucose and haemoglobin at laboratories as well as in the field, both in clinical environment and villages with limited clinical facilities.

"We have tested it at extreme challenging environment with uncontrolled dirt, dust and humidity, and in the absence of structured clinics or air-conditioned pathological laboratories to work," Dr Satadal Saha, visiting professor at the School of Medical Science and Technology of IIT Kharagpur, said.

Saha along with Chakraborty led the joint team for field work.

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