The 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic highlighted weaknesses in common methods of diagnosis, from frequent false negatives to long wait times for results.
Now Boston University researchers have developed a prototype of a rapid, low-cost, accurate, point-of-care device that offers a more effective tool for quickly diagnosing both seasonal and pandemic strains of influenza, thereby limiting the spread of infection.
Boston University Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Catherine Klapperich led the team that developed the disposable microfluidic chip.
“Making each chip single-use decreases the possibility of cross-contamination between specimens, and the chip’s small size makes it a good candidate for true point-of-care testingâ¦ The new test represents a major improvement over viral culture in terms of turn-around time, over rapid immunoassay tests in terms of sensitivity (ability to detect the virus from minimal sample material) and over DFA and RT-PCR in terms of ease of use and portability,” Klapperich observed.
To learn more about season and pandemic influenza detection, preparedness, and treatment, check out Influenza Congress USA.