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Mobile Kidney Disease Testing Device Measures Urine Albumin at POC

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Jul 2022
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Image: A new portable medical device can monitor and enable early detection of CKD (Photo courtesy of Flinders University)
Image: A new portable medical device can monitor and enable early detection of CKD (Photo courtesy of Flinders University)

A new portable medical device for monitoring and early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which affects an estimated 9% of the world’s population, has been shown to have potential to service rural and remote patients and communities with limited medical services. The affordable device can accurately measure levels of albumin in patients’ urine. Elevated albuminuria levels indicate an individual’s kidneys are not filtering blood proteins effectively.

The 3D printed medical device was designed, constructed and evaluated by researchers at Flinders University (Adelaide, Australia) and accurately measures concentrations of albumin in urine samples via an advanced specified aggregation induced emission (AIE) biosensor. In a proof-of-concept study, the platform was able to detect urinary albumin with high accuracy and low cost, making it a potential device for detecting and monitoring albuminuria levels for kidney disease.

The device is also adaptable for potential monitoring of cancers, amyloid fibrils, and other disease biomarkers. The system requires a digital camera, embedded printed circuit boards, single light source and access to the software and can be operated by anyone without the need for a clinical setting or expert diagnostic laboratory.

“A reliable, portable device to accurately measure urine albumin could be rolled out to point-of-care testing sites in the community to reduce the need for patients with chronic kidney disease to regularly visit a hospital or clinic,” said co-author Professor Karen Reynolds, Director of Flinders University’s Medical Device Research Institute and Joint Research Centre for Personal Health Technologies at Tonsley Innovation District. “It will also help early detection of kidney disease which is imperative for early intervention to slow its progression.”

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