MBio Diagnostics has developed a multiplexed
fluorescence immunoassay system for rapid
diagnosis of complex infectious diseases like HIV
and hepatitis. Among the applications the company
is exploring: antenatal screening for HIV/syphilis
in Kenya. Courtesy of MBio Diagnostics.
the device can help distinguish between
potentially malignant and benign tumors.
It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy – at bedside and
during the course of treatment – allowing
the oncologist to adjust the therapy based
on how the patient responds.
Tricorder-like devices could help to
advance care in other settings as well,
including any number of sites where
advanced diagnostic devices wouldn’t
normally be found.
Chris Myatt is founder and CEO of
MBio Diagnostics, which develops optics-
based solutions for disease diagnosis and
research. In an article in the February
2011 issue of BioPhotonics (“Not Your
Father’s Microscope,” pp. 21-23), he said,
“We look at point-of-care, home testing
and world health together as resource-
limited settings, where users are not for-
mally trained medical technicians and the
‘lab’ facilities are not sophisticated. This
is true of a clinic in Mozambique, a mo-
bile STD van in San Diego, or in a home
in New York.”
“Point of care” refers to testing or mon-
itoring performed at or near the site of
care, although it is more commonly used
today to describe clinical services pro-
vided in nontraditional settings. For exam-
ple, especially with the shifting health care
landscape in the US, we will see an in-
creasing demand for long-term monitoring
of chronic diseases – including cardiovas-
cular and autoimmune – in pharmacies
and other retail outlets (both CVS and
Wal-Mart have explored the possibility of
keeping diagnostic kiosks in their stores)
as well as in community clinics and out-
The MBio Diagnostics system combines single-use disposable array cartridges with a simple reader instrument
– a USB peripheral device that connects to and draws power from a laptop computer – to provide simultaneous measurement of multiple analytes from a single sample. Illumination and imaging of fluorescence
immunoassays is achieved using a multimode planar waveguide technology developed by the company.
Courtesy of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
Also consider point-of-care HIV testing.
Testing is already done in nontraditional
settings including the mobile STD vans in
San Diego and elsewhere and, with a new
program in Washington, testing sites in
grocery stores and high schools and even
at the Department of Motor Vehicles. And
demand for this point-of-care application
continues to increase.
Optics-based technologies are well
suited to meet this demand. The technolo-
gies may not look exactly like the tri-
corders in Star Trek – devices roughly the
size of an electric razor that you operate
by waving them around in the air some-
where near the patient – but they meet all
the criteria that matter: portable, rugged