Low-Cost, Point-of-Care Paper-Based Microfluidic Diagnostics
Accurate, low-cost, point-of-care diagnostics for pregnant women and newborns are severely lacking in resource-limited rural settings. This leads to poor monitoring and late diagnoses of high risk pregnancies. To improve rural health care for expecting mothers and newborns, Diagnostics For All (DFA) proposes to develop two accurate, low-cost (<$0.10) postage stamp-sized paper-based diagnostics for expecting mothers and newborns that will be used to detect – and enable proper treatment of – (i) anemia and hyper/hypoglycemia and (ii) hypertensive disorders. These point-of-care diagnostics require only a drop of blood or urine and require no additional steps beyond applying the sample. This means that they can be utilized by minimally-trained individuals in communities or clinics in rural settings to prevent unnecessary deaths during pregnancy and childbirth and improve the health of mothers and newborns through early detection of high-risk pregnancies and better patient management. Our diagnostics will radically change the way health care is delivered to expecting mothers by shifting the focus from a lab-based diagnostic paradigm to an onsite, real-time diagnosis paradigm. Additionally, our devices are patterned using an elegantly simple process that only requires paper and an office printer. This inexpensive and simple process enables these tests to be manufactured in-country and sold by local manufacturers and distributors for profit while still remaining affordable. This integrated innovation concept leverages the power of for-profit distribution and enables additional economic benefits by supporting and developing local industry, and increasing the likelihood of this solution quickly reaching large scales.