New diagnostic device could reduce over-prescribing of antibiotics

Jan. 13, 2015

A hand-held device developed by UK-based OJ Bio Ltd. uses specially developed biochips with a dedicated reader and supporting software carried on a mobile phone app or a PC. When biological sample from serum, saliva, or blood are applied to the biochip (held in a disposable cartridge), the presence of a disease antigen is translated into an electronic signal which is then converted to display the result of the test on the supporting software.

Formal clinical trials using the device are due to start in 2015 for the detection and diagnosis of the influenza A and B viruses and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). In addition, the device can also be used to detect the presence of C-reactive protein, a biomarker of inflammatory disease, which can be used to rule out serious bacterial infections and has therefore been proposed as a useful tool in the reduction of the inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics.

The surface acoustic wave (SAW) electronic chips, developed by Japan Radio Co, Ltd., are coated with disease-specific biocapture surfaces. The presence of a disease antigen causes a shift in the phase angle of the surface acoustic wave passing across the chip surface, and this is translated into an electronic signal. This signal can then be detected and its presence (or absence) determined, providing an unequivocal pass-or-fail result for the particular disease being tested for.

Bluetooth connection of the reading device to special diagnostic software enables the test results to be displayed within seconds. This can also provide a measure of the target biomarker, rather than just a simple yes-or-no result.

Learn more at the OJ Bio website