US scientists develop portable device to identify nutrient deficiency


A research team from Cornell University in the US has developed a small, portable system for the diagnosis of debilitating nutrient deficiency.


Funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the new diagnostic system is designed to facilitate on-field blood testing for vitamin A and iron deficiencies.


The new low-cost, rapid blood test delivers three diagnostic results through a colour-sensitive, disposable test strip.


It can identify iron deficiency if a patient’s ferritin protein levels are lower than the normal threshold and can also indicate below normal cases of retinol-binding protein, which is a form of vitamin A.


In addition, the test strip detects a protein associated with inflammation that can change results, in turn affecting a clinician’s interpretation of the results.


The research team tested 43 human samples and found that the new diagnostic system delivered accurate results compared to conventional test kit approaches.

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