A LAB OF STAMP SIZE!! - TED Link Discussion
Today I am going to discuss about the TED link that I had already committed with. First of all I want to tell the reason for selecting this link among the thousands. The title "A Lab of stamp size" itself has a good attractive nature. As a pharmacologist I was much more attracted towards it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ew0bn8mGAA
In my good childhood days, for screening jaundice my parents used to keep few rice grains in the jar containing freshly excreted urine. It was kept for few hours and then the color of the rice grains are observed, if the color has been changed to dark yellowish color the individual is said to be attacked jaundice otherwise he was not. This is a simple screening procedure for jaundice that can be done in our house without going to lab and pay lots of bucks. When I come across the above TED link I remembered the above discussion and then I decided to deal with it.
Actually the author (George Whitesides) is not related to medical field but he is just in touch with this field as he was a specialized & expertise in the field of Biochemistry. About the topic "A Lab of stamp size " the author had designed a special instrument for preliminary screening of many biological parameters which may cost several bucks for testing in the lab, of course many instruments of that model had been approved by WHO.
As the author is specialized in fabrication, he designed the instrument using Wicks paper, coated with the specialized polymer for diagnosing the specific parameter. Based on the number of polymers coated, the parameters that can be estimated are depended. These are not only useful for preliminary screening but also quantified depending on the color intensity. He used special equipment for separating the plasma and blood cells named Eggbeater, thus separated plasma or urine etc., are taken on the small chip and allowed to settle such that the sample is distributed throughout the holes in which the polymer is present and given time to react and then develops color leading to diagnosis. In this manner an individual can reduce the burden (cost) for diagnosing the disease or disorder without spending so many bucks, as the coated Wicks paper also costs very less.
As already many such diagnosing instruments had been launched, I wish the popularity for these papers may increase there by reducing the burden of an individual towards the lab tests.
1) [Accessed on March 28th, 2010] http://www.ted.com/talks/george_whitesides_a_lab_the_size_of_a_postage_s...
2) [Accessed on March 28th, 2010] http://www.ted.com/speakers/george_whitesides.html
3) [Accessed on March 28th, 2010] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_M._Whitesides
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