3D Printed Diagnostics: Smartphone Attachments & Software for Detecting Parasitic Infections

Share this Article

In the recently published ‘Smartphone-based diagnosis of parasitic infections with colorimetric assays in centrifuge tubes,’ international researchers from Spain and the UK explore better ways to diagnose medical conditions in developing countries with few resources for such tools.

Although billions of consumers are using smartphones today, in nearly every recess of the world, most of us rarely take true stock of the power we are holding in the palms of our hands. These devices that carry so much of our personal information and may only be used for sending a few texts or making a few calls each day are actually powerful microprocessors capable of performing a vast number of complex—and extremely helpful—tasks, as well as sharing enormous amounts of data.

Here, the authors put the smartphone to the test for diagnosing parasitic infections, opening our eyes to what a critical role the camera can play in bioanalytical and diagnosis applications. Focusing on the diagnosis of Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, the team explains that these illnesses can be severe—and so much so that they are responsible for making millions of people sick. With the development of an affordable, easy-to-use colorimetric assay for diagnostics of Leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, the researchers hope to make an impact of more remote areas of numerous countries.

“In this study, the proposed smartphone-based diagnostic platform has been shown to be capable of making analysis of millimetric colorimetric arrays, as those fitting into the Spin-Tube. Although in the case of the Spin-Tube platform published by our group recently, where the spot pattern recognition was undertaken by naked-eye (due the simplicity of the colorimetric pattern to needing to be analyzed), further development of an automatized image capture system, such as a smartphone is an attractive option,” state the researchers.

This innovative new device offers the following advantages for patients, technicians, and doctors:

  • Reduction in human error as many staff may be untrained
  • Creation of a permanent record for doctors to review as necessary
  • Enabling of quantitative assessments through spot color intensity measurement

A) Spin-Tube device prototype. B) Plastic components for the Spin-Tube fabrication. C) Amide bond formation between pre-activated carboxylic acid groups of nylon membranes and primary amine groups of
abasic probes (PNA1 and PNA2). Graphic layout of the array: In red, 3 biotin-labelled DNA oligomer controls; in green, 3 spots of abasic PNA2; in blue, 3 spots of abasic PNA1.

A) Lateral schematic view and B) photograph of the complete setup composed of the 3D printed accessory, the illuminated centrifuge collection tube and the smartphone. C) Top schematic view and D) photographs of the centrifuge collection tube with the white LEDs.

The authors also 3D printed an affordable accessory made of plastic for adding illumination. A software program was also programmed for the smartphone, sensing color-coordinates of circular-shaped spots in each array pattern.

“The app consists of several screens that guide the user through the steps required for the acquisition and processing of a test result image,” explained the researchers.

. Image acquisition and processing workflow in the smartphone application.

Numerous tests were performed to evaluate system performance, verify the application overall, including testing its limits.

A) App screenshots where the user can fit the template grid (white circle) with the centrifuge collection tube after taking a photo. Examples of results of diagnostic recognition (detailed and simplified views) upon the completion of the processing for the three possible cases: B) Absence of infection; C) pathogen Leishmania major; and D) pathogen Trypanosma cruzi. E) Example of the report provided by the app containing information about the recognized spot array. The report is presented in a plain text viewer integrated in the app. F) Both the report and the processed image can be shared through social networks, email and various messaging services through the ‘‘Share’’ button in the top menu of the application. In this study, the spotting was carried out with 2 controls biotin-labelled DNA oligomer spots rather than the 3 of Fig. 1C.

“This system has been tested for detection of parasitic diseases of the family Trypanosomiases, which are responsible for devastating diseases in humans, dogs as well as livestock. In this context, the smartphone-based platform that has been developed analyses the image and converts the panel of spots into a Trypanosomatid species,” concluded the researchers. “Given the importance of such assays in developing countries, the mobile phone imager application has been designed to be especially user-friendly for its use by untrained personnel. Recorded results can be immediately transmitted to reference clinicians from remote locations for advice and treatment decisions.”

Smartphone devices have been developed for a wide range of applications so far, many of which are helpful to medical professionals and patients in developing areas, from testing for malaria to high blood pressure, and even diagnostics for pancreatic cancer.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘Smartphone-based diagnosis of parasitic infections with colorimetric assays in centrifuge tubes’]

Share this Article


Recent News

UNICAEN: New Bioprinted Tumor Models Help Researchers in France Study Its Biology

The End of the Road for Pot Dyeing in 3D Printing?



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Daimler Buses Relies on DyeMansion for Color & Texture Quality in 3D Printed Spare Parts

While it took decades for the rest of the world to catch up, a handful of aerospace organizations, automotive industry leaders, and other innovators have continued to enjoy the inside...

DyeMansion Completes Beta Testing of VaporFuse Surfacing Technology for 3D Printed Parts

3D printing offers a world of infinite potential for innovation, as well as combinations of materials and finishing processes. DyeMansion is just adding to all that goodness now with VaporFuse...

Why Automated Post Processing Makes Manufacturing With 3D Printers Possible

In Material Extrusion (FDM), we can now use inexpensive machines to make dimensionally accurate & tough parts in various materials at low cost. These parts can fulfill many industrial and...

3D Printing News Briefs: May 26, 2019

This year’s RAPID + TCT ended late last week at the Cobo Center in Detroit, so we’re again starting off today’s 3D Printing News Briefs with more news from the...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!