This cheap portable test could be a boon to health care in developing countries especially in Africa.
They published their findings in 15 May issue of journal Analytical Chemistry.
\”This test might be the only practical/reliable way for developing countries/isolated regions without access to full blood test laboratories or qualified healthcare workers to instantaneously and easily measure blood type.\” Lead researcher Gil Garnier, Director Australasian Pulp and Paper Institute at Monash University, told world.edu.
The test also could be useful in veterinary medicine, for typing animals\’ blood in the field.
Estimated cost is a few cents/test; most of the cost comes from the antibody. Cost reduction involves antibody optimization
Garnier indicated that \”estimated time to market is 12-18 months once we have a partner\”
Blood typing is currently done by mixing blood with the various antibodies (A,B,D) and detecting whether or not agglutination occurs. The problem is to detect if there is coagulation. In modern labs, this typically requires sophisticated spectroscopic techniques to detect a transition point; in developing countries, the blood/antibody mixture is deposited on a glass slide to observe agglutination.
The problem is that there is considerable variability in the extent of blood agglutination because of the great variability in blood cell concentration and antigen concentration on the red blood cells among individuals.
\”We basically discovered that agglutinated blood does not wick in paper. This discovery was used as a very accurate and sensitive way to detect directly blood type. red cells provide the visual signal.\”, Garnier pointed out.
Speaking to world.edu, John Brennan, director of Chemical Biology Programme at McMaster University, Canada, said\” This work is an important step forward in providing low cost, point of care diagnostics to resource limited regions. The use of a multiplexed immunoassay printed on a simple paper substrate is quite elegant, and provides a simple colorimetric readout with no need for sophisticated instrumentation.\”
\”The paper based assay moves beyond the more conventional lateral flow immunoassays, which usually detect only one analyte per test strip, and in doing so addresses a critical health issue in the developing world.\”, Brennan added.
\”The development of simple paper-based assays to monitor health and test food and water quality is very likely to have a major impact on health in resource limited areas\”, Brennan concluded.