Cellphone to test blood

Your mobile phone can now be used to test your blood sugar level and for various other blood tests !! Yes ! not joking !

Aydogan Ozcan, assistant professor of electrical engineering at the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), and his team of graduate and udergraduate students developed a medical diagnostic application from a mobile phone, in effect bringing the hospital to the patient.

He has constructed a prototype cell phone  that is capable of monitoring the condition of HIV and malaria patients, as well as testing water quality in undeveloped areas or disaster sites.

The imaging platform, known as LUCAS (Lensless Ultra-wide-field Cell monitoring Array platform based on Shadow imaging), has now been successfully installed in both a cell phone and a webcam.The LUCAS system resolves “holographic” images of individual blood cells and germ-fighting leukocytes at the cellular level – all without the need for a physical optical lens.Because red blood cells and other microparticles have a distinct diffraction pattern, or shadow image, they can be identified and counted virtually instantaneously by LUCAS using a custom-developed “decision algorithm” that compares the captured shadow images to a library of training images. Data collected by LUCAS can then be sent to a hospital for analysis and diagnosis using the cell phone, or transferred via USB to a computer for transmission to a hospital.The system also can be used to monitor water quality by detecting hazardous microparticles.

Blood tests today require either refrigerator-sized machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars or a trained technician who manually identifies and counts cells under a microscope. These systems are slow, expensive and require dedicated labs to function. And soon they could be a thing of the past.

No more sending blood away to a lab and waiting days or weeks for the results.

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Aydogan Ozcan


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