SPEDs (self-powered, paper-based, electrochemical diagnostic devices) are the new buzz


A newly developed medical diagnostic device made of paper is able to detect biomarkers for diagnosis of various diseases. The test results are color coded for easy reading by non-experts and the device is expected to function as remote laboratory in areas with limited medical facilities.

The device consists of two layers. The top layer of device is made of untreated cellulose paper, which is meant to receive specimens on patterned hydrophobic areas located on it. The Bottom layer of device contains a triboelectric generator, which generates current merely by the touch of a finger. When the two layers are combined, the device is ready to perform the required test and display its results in a very short duration of time, depending upon the type of test.

Since the device is made of paper, it can be easily disposed by burning. The developers are planning to add more layers for more complex assays and to detect diseases like Hepatitis, HIV, dengue fever etc.


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