Disposable devices to identify allergies

Low-cost disposable devices that could quickly detect allergies or diseases are being designed by a research centre in Mexico to be sold in pharmacies.

A scientist from the Centre for Research and Advanced Studies at Monterrey (Cinvestav) has worked on combining granular material with medical microfluidic devices to create a gadget that could detect allergies in minutes rather than hours.

“We want to design disposable devices, which could be purchased at the pharmacy to be used and then discarded, but without being expensive,” said Gabriel Caballer Robledo of Cinvestav.

By employing similar processes to those used in conventional large laboratory appliances, the research team created a microfluidic device at a smaller scale equipped to process saliva or blood.

The research team is currently optimising the device to increase its capability of identify allergies as accurately as possible.

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