innovation Companies on the Cutting Edge
a lab on a chip
Many laboratory blood tests take several days to process. A group of
Harvard University researchers has developed a device, the mChip,
that produces accurate test results from a single drop of human blood
in about 10 minutes. After blood is injected into the credit-card-size
cartridge, it interacts with antibodies housed in hairline channels.
The cartridge is then placed in a portable device that analyzes the
results and displays them on a digital screen. One mChip can test for
up to 10 disease biomarkers, including those for hepatitis C and
HIV. Claros Diagnostics, co-founded by Vincent Linder and Samuel
Sia, two of the mChip’s inventors, has received approval to market a
version of the device for prostate cancer screening in Europe. Next
year, Claros, based in Woburn, Massachusetts, plans to apply for FDA
approval for the mChip in the United States. It is also fine-tuning the
technology for infectious-disease testing in developing countries.
Pictured here is an mChip designed to
test for indicators of prostate problems.
We injected the cartridge with a dye to
simulate how blood flows through a
channel, interacting with antibodies
along the way, and winds up in a reservoir in which metallic particles bind to
and darken disease biomarkers.
4 2 | inc. | november 2011