Imec will design test parameters and perform experiments in different gravity scenarios using one of miDiagnostics’ devices that is built around a silicon-based nanofluidic proces-sor that performs a series of blood sample manipulations yielding a cell blood count with fast turnaround time. Imec will test the device in parabolic flight, which offers different gravitational loads.
“Human exploration into deep space requires the development of medical devices and di-agnostics of small mass, volume and power requirements, designed for a more autono-mous practice of medicine,” said Susana B. Zanello, Ph.D., R&D manager at imec’s design center in Kissimmee, FL, and principal investigator on the project. Responding to the need for easily deployable medical devices with minimal instrumentation, miDiagnostics is de-veloping a near-patient diagnostic platform, based on a nanofluidic processor embedded in a single-use, low-cost, test card.
Presently, miDiagnostics has developed a research prototype that can perform a complete cell blood count (CBC) from only drops of blood. In other configurations, the same plat-form will enable accurate and instantaneous point-of-need diagnostics for a suite of cellu-lar, biochemical and molecular tests.
“The device is currently in development for standard earth-based conditions, said Peter Peumans, VP life sciences technologies at imec and CTO of miDiagnostics. “But it should also function in gravity-independent environments, as it relies solely on capillary forces.”