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Lab-on-a-chip diagnoses disease in minutes


Narrator:         This is Science Today. The concept of a diagnostic lab-on-a-chip has been around for at least two decades, but most systems that have been developed so far have not been truly autonomous. But now, a team of bioengineers, including Ivan Dimov of the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a portable, self-powered device.

Dimov:            I think the key about this system is that I think for the first time we can envision and we've demonstrated sort of an initial prototype, this kind of Holy Grail of a microfluidic system where you know it really is a chip in itself and just works by itself.  And you don't need like a huge infrastructure to make it run.  I think that's where we differentiate ourselves from the existing chips.

Narrator:         Dimov says this biochip can be used in the field to diagnose disease within minutes.

Dimov:            You would take a small prick of blood similar to what people do right now for diabetes, put it onto the chip and then the chip would automatically take your blood and process it and it will generate a result.

Narrator:         For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.