Testing for albumin in urine is an important part of assessing the health of kidneys, especially in diabetic patients. This can be a daily process in some patients, and getting samples to the lab requires regular visits to the clinic.

Now researchers from UCLA and California NanoSystems Institute are reporting the development of a device that works along with a smartphone to accurately detect albumin in urine. The patient’s sample is inserted into the clip-on device along with a control sample and a laser shines a light through the samples while the phone’s camera looks at how the result fluoresces. An app on the Android phone then processes the images and provides a reading on the screen. The researchers hope the new system will allow patients to do their own testing at home without having to schlep to the clinic.

From the study abstract in Lab on a Chip:

Using a simple sample preparation approach which takes ~ 5 minutes per test (including the incubation time), we experimentally confirmed the detection limit of our sensing platform as 5-10 μg/mL (which is more than 3 times lower than clinically accepted normal range) in buffer as well as urine samples. This automated albumin testing tool running on a smart-phone could be useful for early diagnosis of kidney disease or for monitoring of chronic patients, especially those suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and/or cardiovascular diseases.

Study in Lab on a ChipAlbumin testing in urine using a smart-phone…

Announcement: UCLA researchers invent portable device for common kidney tests…



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