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Enhancement of Medical Diagnostics with Lab-on-Paper Technology

Jun 5, 2019
Medical Team

Your health should always be a priority to ensure you can enjoy a long and happy life with your loved ones. Unfortunately, there are injuries and illnesses that can severely impact your life, so it’s in your best interests to be proactive rather than reactive. That’s where services at a trusted medical diagnostic imaging center in Suffolk County, NY, can save your life. There are many advantages in modern medical technology, including the use of lab-on-paper techniques that enhance medical diagnostics and lead to more accurate diagnosing abilities. Here are the key points you need to know about lab-on-paper technology in diagnostic imaging centers in both your local area and across the country.

Lateral Flow Tests

Professionals who work at diagnostic imaging centers will tell you that autonomous testing is especially advantageous. Lab-on-paper technology has opened the doors for lateral flow tests, which are available commercially and easy to use. With rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), you don’t have to wait long for results, making it a fantastic resource in the medical world, even for more complex cases and conditions. RDTs such as the rapid strep test (RST) are relatively user-friendly and capable of quickly diagnosing strep throat by determining if group A streptococcal (GAS) is present in the patient’s throat. Then there’s the most commonly used type of RST, called the lateral flow test, in which a swab sample is taken from the patient’s throat and placed on a nitrocellulose film strip. If GAS antigens are present, they will travel across the film, creating a visible line of antigen bound to labeled antibodies.

A Compelling Concept

Lateral flow tests were created for use at diagnostic and imaging centers, where doctors could determine whether an analyte, a chemical substance that’s being measured, is present or absent in a patient’s sample. This form of testing is so appealing because it eliminates the need for extremely expensive equipment. Diagnostic imaging services such as lateral flow tests only require simple devices with a few capillary beds that can transport fluids in a natural manner. Once collected, the sample travels a strip of paper, interacting with reagents and producing a color signal to reveal the test results. This has completely changed the landscape of medical diagnostics, especially for situations in which multiple reagents need to be triggered throughout the process to make more complex diagnosis.

Doctor and Patient

New Design, New Capabilities

The latest advancements in test strip designs incorporate microfluidic valve technology, using multilayered paper printed with wax. These new and improved strips have fluid-actuated valves that make it possible for multiple reagents and patient fluids to be manipulated and tested in a controlled way. The valves form fluidic circuits that trigger the reagents movement in a certain sequence at a particular time. Not only has the size of the test strip been made smaller, but engineers from the University of Rhode Island have also installed a micropump that enables fluid to precisely pass through the microchannels. The potential of this design is quite impressive, as shown in examples of lateral flow tests that correctly identified cases of sepsis shock, an immune response to full-body inflammation and infection. The biomarker revealed the presence of sepsis.

Looking ahead to the future, as lab-based testing transitions into more and more autonomous diagnostics, this new form of test strips will become even more common. By detecting diseases in patients relatively quickly, this technology is opening up doors for a brighter future in the medical field. If you want to take advantage of the technological advancements available to your healthcare providers, please get in touch with the trusted professionals at Peconic Bay Medical Center today!