DAEJEON, Oct. 16 (Korea Bizwire) – A Korean research team has developed a medical device that can check if a patient is infected with viruses such as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) or Ebola within an hour.
The Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) announced that a research team led by Doctor Kwon Oh-won of the medical machinery lab developed an integrated molecular diagnosis kit that allows even non-professionals to know if a patient has an infection, with a processing time of only an hour.
Doctor Kwon explained that the three step process of extracting, amplifying and detecting DNA from blood or urine can be completed in one cartridge, making it possible to check whether a patient is infected or not in only an hour. The device also indicates the type of pathogen present in the case of positive test results.
Prior to the development of the new device, it took molecular diagnostic tools an hour to extract DNA and two hours to amplify and detect it, resulting in three to four hours of total processing time to diagnose a patient’s infection. However, the new device can go through all the steps in one hour, making it possible to diagnose illnesses even in places far away from big hospitals.
Of note, the operation of the device is extremely simple, with users only having to put a specimen in the cartridge and press a ‘run’ button, making it easy for even those who are not medical professionals to carry out tests.
The research team added that by minimizing the number of parts and using a cheaper material for the cartridge, the cost of molecular diagnostic tools could drop to lower than 10 percent of the cost of equipment from overseas.
By Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)