AsianScientist (Apr. 29, 2013) – Veredus Laboratories and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) have launched a lab-on-a-chip that can identify 13 different major tropical diseases from a single blood sample, according to its inventors.
VereTrop – the first biochip in the molecular diagnostics market that tests for tropical infectious diseases – can be used to test for dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya and hand, foot and mouth disease, among others.
“Tropical diseases often reflect common symptoms like fever, and may not be accurately diagnosed early by doctors. This portable test kit is a rapid and reliable method to accurately test for multiple pathogenic targets from just one blood sample in a matter of hours,” said Associate Professor Lisa F.P. Ng from A*STAR’s Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), the lead virologist in this project.
Together with Professor Laurent Renia, an expert in Malaria Immunobiology at SIgN, the team from SIgN validated the kit on patient samples in the external fields of Northern Thailand, at the Thai-Myanmar border, in collaboration with clinicians at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit in Thailand.
The biochip, which operates on STMicroelectronics’ Lab-on-Chip platform, was initiated between ETPL, the technology transfer arm of A*STAR, and Veredus in 2009. Prior to this, Veredus had licensed diagnostic technology from A*STAR in the areas of influenza and malaria.
“This latest project on VereTrop Lab-on-Chip has combined the strengths and expertise of A*STAR, Veredus, and STMicroelectronics to create a powerful multiplexed molecular product that can rapidly detect and differentiate symptomatically similar tropical infectious diseases and enable timely proper treatment,” said Dr. Rosemary Tan, CEO of Veredus Laboratories, a Singapore-based, majority owned subsidiary of STMicroelectronics.
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