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WorldBeating TB Detector
Problem being addressed
Tuberculosis (TB) infects more than 8 million people per year and is especially deadly to those with HIV. Rapid diagnosis results in fewer patients spreading the disease and also allows the treatment process to begin more quickly. However, current treatments and tests are expensive (treatments can cost up to 40000 dollars), making TB more prevalent in resource-limited settings.
Detailed description of the solution
The World Beating TB Detector (a microfluidic technology and nuclear magnetic resonance device) is designed to provide a faster, cheaper, and more portable detection system. The device is the size of a cellphone, costs just a few hundred dollars to make, and is a thousand times more sensitive than traditional tests. Also, using the device only costs a few dollars each time, and the results are received a dozen times faster than current laboratory tests. The device would simply require placing the sample in the correct space; the device tells if it is a positive or a negative diagnosis, thereby limiting the training necessary for proper use.
- Designed by: Researchers at the Center for Systems Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
- Manufacturer (if different): n/a
- Manufacturer location: n/a
When and where it was tested/implemented
The device has been tried on clinical samples from patients at the Harvard School of Medical Health and field tests were planned at a clinic near Durban, South Africa for later in 2010.
Recipient of Grants from the National Institutes of Health.
- Liong M, Hoang A, Chung J, Gural N, Ford C, Min C, Shah R, Ahmad R, Fernandez-Suarez M, Fortune S, Toner M, Lee H, Weissleder R (Apr 23, 2013). “Magnetic barcode assay for genetic detection of pathogens.” Retrieved Jul 10, 2014 from http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n4/full/ncomms2745.html
Externally generated reports
- Patel P (Mar 17, 2010). “A World-beating TB Detector.” Retrieved Jul 10, 2014 from http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/a-worldbeating-tb-detector
- Massachusetts General Hospital (May 5, 2013). Retrieved Jul 10, 2014 from
IP and copyright
Massachusetts General Hospital applied for patent as of 2013.