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Handheld DNA lab

QuantuMDx is taking their handheld diagnostic tool to the masses, and hoping to raise $50,000 in an Indiegogo campaign starting today. The money will support a malaria clinical trial in Africa.

The tool can differentiate strains of drug-resistant malaria in the field, says co-founder and CSO Jonathan O’Halloran, helping public health workers immediately identify which treatments to use, and if it’s safe for infected individuals to return to their homes. The company calls the tool a “handheld DNA lab,” and says future applications include differentiating strains of tuberculosis and other conditions.

The QuantuMDx (QMDx) technology debuted in 2012, and is based on re-engineered processes for sample processing and sequencing, explains O’Halloran. The strength of the device is that it is handheld—about the size of a “fat iPad” O’Halloran says—and doesn’t need a power source or water. Single-use, foil-sealed cassettes include all of the consumables needed for each test besides the vacuum tube for blood collection.

BioIT World