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Sheets of folded paper, printed with wax, could be the key to developing very low cost diagnostics to improve the health of livestock in in low- to middle-income countries.
In a paper published in the journal ACS Sensors, biomedical engineers, veterinary scientists and bacteriologists from the UK and India describe how disposable diagnostic technology that uses paper folding, akin to origami, to process complex biochemical tests has helped farmers in India identify three separate reproductive infections in cattle.
Technique - Method - Brucella - Leptospira - Herpes
The new technique provides a new method for identifying Brucella, Leptospira and bovine herpes virus-1 infections, which are particularly prevalent in India, along with many other countries in Asia, Africa and South America. All three infections can affect livestock's reproductive organs, reducing fertility and resulting in loss of milk production, with a significant impact on agricultural output.
However, reproductive infections are difficult for farmers to diagnose through simple observation during the early stages, meaning infection can spread quickly during breeding season. Once infected cattle are identified, they must be destroyed, leading to disruptions in milk supply and incurring significant costs for farmers.
Diagnostics - Tests - Infections - Technicians - Tests
While there are molecular diagnostics tests currently available for these infections, they are time-consuming, expensive and require skilled technicians to administer them, meaning the tests cannot be undertaken in areas far from specialised facilities.
The new diagnostic technology, developed by researchers from the University of Glasgow uses a commercially-available printer, which coats the paper in patterns made from water-resistant wax. When the paper is folded – like in origami—the sample fluid is directed into channels in the pattern.
Device - DNA
The folded-paper device enables the DNA of the...
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