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Lab-on-Chip speeds TB diagnosis, treatment

Posted: 12 Nov 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:diagnostic  chip  lab-on-chip  tuberculosis 

Veredus Laboratories Pte Ltd debuts the VereMTB multiplexed molecular diagnostic chip designed to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC) and its mutations. These mutations are responsible for resistance to multiple drugs and are reinvigorating the global spread of the disease.

The device leverages STMicroelectronics Lab-on-chip technology that is embedded in a disposable cartridge and combines MEMS with microfluidics to create a bank of micro-reactor chambers which help analyse DNA.

TB treatment involves accurate and fast diagnosis followed by a drug regimen that requires strict compliance. Shortcomings in the treatment can cause the infecting mycobacteria to mutate into drug-resistant strains that would be more difficult and expensive to treat. Current methods of diagnosing TB infections includes culturing the bacteria and it can take up to eight weeks. Now, VereMTB makes it possible to diagnose the disease and identify the specific mycobacterium causing the infection in three hours from taking the natural sample. And because it is compact, the system can be deployed in a wide range of settings at point-of-need.

The VereMTB multiplexed molecular diagnostic Lab-on-Chip was designed and tested through the TM-REST programme, as part of the European 7th Framework to develop new diagnostics to fight TB and malaria. As of launch, it is undergoing evaluations by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing, China as part of their on-going programme to assess new technologies for TB diagnostics.

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