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Cellphone-based tech could cut lab visits for blood tests

The portable MELISA weighs less than half a kg, and the researchers believe that it has the potential help older patients suffering chronic conditions and those across the world

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Blood Tests now available on mobile phones.
Blood Tests now available on mobile phones.
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  • Researchers have developed a cellphone-based blood test
  • This can save visits to doctors
  • The technology is called Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

Researchers have developed a cellphone-based blood test technology that can provide immediate results in the comfort of one’s home or a doctor’s clinic, thereby cutting visits to the laboratory.

In a paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the researchers detailed a mobile version of the “Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay” (ELISA), the gold standard technique used to detect the presence of an antibody or antigen.

This test will save visits to the hospital. Pixabay

“ELISA is an important technology for biochemical analysis of proteins and hormones and is critical for the diagnosis of many diseases, such as HIV and Lyme Disease,” said corresponding author Anna Pyayt, Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, US.

“But the machines required for the incubation and reading are expensive and bulky,” Pyayt said. Instead of sending patients to a laboratory, the new cellphone-based technology – Mobile Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (MELISA) — allows for the very same test to be conducted in the doctor’s office, clinic or even in a remote area.

Also Read: Blood sodium levels linked to cognition in older adults

“The MELISA allows patients to undergo testing and obtain results at point-of-care,” Pyayt said. The device accurately measures progesterone levels, a key hormone that impacts female fertility and is indicative of some cancers.

It consists of a water bath heater that incubates samples at a target temperature and analyses them via images taken by mobile phone. The device uses colour analysis to determine the RGB (red, green, blue) colour components of each sample. The blue colour component is used for further analysis due to its sensitivity to the changes in progesterone concentration.

blood type
Thi is a revolutionary invention. Pixabay

“It is designed to make biomedical testing simple and affordable. When low cost testing can be integrated with routine clinic visits, this would greatly improve the quality of healthcare and detect worrisome signs earlier,” Pyayt added. The portable MELISA weighs less than half a kg, and the researchers believe that it has the potential help older patients suffering chronic conditions and those across the world. IANS

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Nearly 40 Individual HPV Types Linked to HIV Infection

Regarding prevention and treatment, Brown recommends the HPV vaccine, widely provided to everyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation before sexual debut, and for genital wart treatment

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

Scientists have for the first time identified 37 individual types of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are specifically linked to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

The findings showed that a person with any HPV type, more than one HPV type, or high-risk HPV are more likely to test positive for HIV.

“Although most studies have shown a general link between HPV and HIV co-infection, our findings illustrate the strong relationship between individual HPV types and HIV infection,” said lead author Brandon Brown, Associate Professor at the University of California, Riverside.

“Some HPV types are more linked to cancer and others to warts. This further illustrates the potential utility of HPV vaccine for men who have sex with men and trans women, not only for HPV prevention but also possibly for HIV prevention,” Brown added.

Brown explained that previous research has shown that HPV, in general, was linked to HIV infection, but his research team looked at infection with 37 HPV types and found that individual types are linked, “which is more specific than saying HPV is linked”.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, identified HPV types such as HPV16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 52, 58, linked to HIV.

HIV Aids
Computer simulations can also predict the spread of HIV: Study. Flickr

For the study, the team investigated nearly 600 men who have sex with men, or MSM, and transgender women in Lima, Peru.

Brown and his colleagues started with two groups, one with genital warts and one without, and followed participants over two years to see who contracted HIV.

Of the 571 participants who completed at least two study visits, 73 acquired HIV in two years — a 6 per cent HIV incidence rate.

Previous study with female sex workers showed that the HPV vaccine still provided protection to high-risk groups.

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Regarding prevention and treatment, Brown recommends the HPV vaccine, widely provided to everyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation before sexual debut, and for genital wart treatment.

“Even if the vaccine is not provided before sexual debut, there can be strong benefit if given at any time to prevent HPV-associated disease and also HIV,” he said.

“We know that HPV is the most common STI, and we know that HPV vaccine works to prevent chronic HPV infection. What we need now is to implement the vaccine in a better way. The availability in many other developing countries is low at best and absent at worst.” (Bollywood Country)

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