STMicroelectronics together with Veredus Laboratories have developed a portable thumbnail-sized chip that is able to rapidly detect human strains of flu viruses including the bird flu, Influenza A and B viruses.
Known as VereFlu, this chip represents a breakthrough molecular diagnostic test that can detect infection with high accuracy and sensitivity within two hours.
The lab on a chip provides genetic details about the infection, compared to existing diagnostic methods which take weeks to gather information.
According to associate professor Raymond Lin, head of Microbiology at the National University Hospital where the trials were successfully conducted, “The diagnostic reliability of this novel device makes it a powerful weapon against future influenza pandemics.”
The chip on a lab device enables users to analyze minute patient samples of human blood, serum or respiratory swabs on a single chip which is disposable.
This approach reduces time, complexity and the risk of cross-contamination that is present in conventional methods.