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Wall Street Journal
DVD Player Modified to Test Blood

<p>Anna Leach</p>


April 12, 2013

DVD players are fast becoming obsolete with the rise of video streaming, but Swedish researchers have found something else to do with them. A team at the School of Biotechnology in the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has modified a DVD player to perform blood tests, including a check for HIV.

The researchers converted a standard DVD player into a laser-scanning microscope, capable of detecting particular cells in a blood sample, says research highlighted in the journal Nature Photonics, and reported in Phys.org.

The innovation opens up the possibility of cheaper blood tests in the developing world, senior lecturer at the institute and lead researcher Aman Russom told Phys.Org.

“With an ordinary DVD player, we have created a cheap analytical tool for DNA, RNA, proteins and even entire cells. The low cost of the technology makes it suitable as a diagnostic and analytical tool in clinical practice close to the patient. And because it delivers extremely fast analysis, the patient does not need to go home and wait for a response. They can get it right on the first visit to a doctor,” Mr. Russom was quoted as saying.

The result is significantly cheaper than current hospital blood-testing equipment. Phys.org reports:

“The Lab-on-DVD reaps 30 years of research and development on optical storage technology to create an alternative to flow cytometry, the standard equipment for hospitals. Flow cytometry units can cost upwards of $30,000, excluding maintenance. By contrast, mass-produced Lab-on-DVD units could be made available for less than $200, Russom says. And unlike the bulky and technically complex flow cytometry instruments, a Lab-on-DVD would be portable and require less training to operate.”



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