Scientists have turned smartphones into a tool to test for the Zika virus.
A new device has been developed for this purpose which can be connected to a smartphone and can be tested for the diagnosis of Zika virus from a single drop of blood. The results of the research of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA, were published in the journal Analyst.
Mosquito-borne viruses cause serious diseases, but the symptoms of these diseases are similar, so if you go to the doctor with Zika, malaria or dengue, they may not know what disease you have, the researchers said.
He said that diagnosis of Zika is very important because the virus in pregnant women can cause birth defects in newborns.
Currently, Zika virus disease is diagnosed in a laboratory using a PCR test, which also provides immediate results but requires trained personnel and complex procedures.
But the procedure in smartphone test is very simple and can be done from anywhere.
A test called Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) requires inserting a cartridge into a device followed by a drop of blood.
Chemicals in the device check blood cells within 5 minutes.
A second set of chemicals then tests for viral genetic material and turns the surface of the cartridge green if Zika virus is present.
The entire process takes 25 minutes.
We developed a clip-on device so that the smartphone’s back camera can view the cartridge during the test, the cartridge will highlight green if the sample contains the virus, the researchers said.
Now researchers are developing more devices to diagnose other mosquito-borne viruses, but they are also trying to reduce their size.
He says that the new version of the devices will be able to be charged from the phone’s battery itself.