Ultraportable device identified mutations using a smartphone

Scientists have created a portable device for DNA analysis. It weighs about 60 grams, its cost is less than $ 7. For heating of reagents and automatic recognition result, the device uses the smartphone. The device is highly sensitive and universal, it detects different types of mutations and DNA pathogens in samples of blood, urine and saliva, as well as in products and plants. Article published in the journal Science Advances.

One of the most common ways to determine the sequence DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). PCR now we need special equipment, electricity and trained specialist. Scientists are trying to create a portable device for DNA analysis, which will allow to carry out analysis in all conditions.

Sequencing DNA requires a series of procedures: sample preparation, amplification (repeated copying of DNA molecules in the samples) and the actual detection. Each of these steps must fit in a portable device. One of the problems in this way is to make the process independent of electricity, because most methods of DNA analysis require the samples are heated.

The device is trying to do is not only compact but also versatile: it must be able to run tests saliva, blood and urine and to recognize different forms of DNA, e.g., genes of pathogens and mutations.

Scientists from China and the United States under the leadership of Min Chen (Ming Chen) from the Third military medical University have created an ultra-portable device for DNA analysis, weighing less than 100 grams. The device consists of two main parts: chetyrehvetvevogo chip, which is printed on a 3D printer, and folding box. Along with the smartphone, which is required to operate the device, all items are placed in a package or envelope B5 format (25 by 17 cm). The production cost of the device is about 2.5 dollars, and consumables for the analysis of one sample is about four dollars.

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