Are the small gadget and the application to the smartphone able to replace the medical laboratory? Of course, no – just simplify, speed up and reduce the cost of analyzing the three most common samples: saliva, urine and blood. Such a device is developed at the University of Illinois and costs only $ 550 per copy.
The technology of the analyzer is based on a simple principle: when changing the composition of a liquid, it changes its color, becomes more or less transparent, etc. It remains only to compare the detailed image with the standard and make an express test. In some cases, a dye is added to the medium to be studied, which reacts to the presence of certain substances – this reaction is what fixes the device.
The analyzer looks like a nozzle for a smartphone with cartridges in which liquid samples are placed. With the help of the white light of the phone’s flash or its own LED backlight, the tests “show through”, and the result is captured by the camera of the smartphone. The rest of the technique is to select the desired test type in the application and start the processing of the image according to the corresponding algorithm.
The creators of the analyzer use the most common tests in American medicine and are sure that on this basis it is possible to develop software for conducting any similar analyzes with liquids. Not only in the interests of medicine – this is a quick way to check the quality of food, find drugs, take groundwater samples, etc.