Point-of-care testing (POCT) is the performance of diagnostic tests directly on the patient’s ward, in the practice of a registered physician or in a pharmacy. In other words, laboratory diagnostics are performed close to the patient rather than in a central laboratory. Some examples of this are pregnancy tests or blood glucose measurements by diabetics.
Particularly exciting for the field of microfluidics is the Point-of-care testing for pathogens such as MRSA or COVID-19. Here, there are various possibilities to perform these tests quickly and thoroughly – without having to send samples to central laboratories.
For this purpose, we have developed a test system together with GreinerBioOne that enables rapid detection of all relevant hospital germs and other pathogens. The portable device is distributed GenSpeed Biotech.
GenSpeed Biotech’s diagnostic system enables Point-of-care diagnostics for a wide range of viruses and germs:
MRSA is popularly known as the hospital germ because it is particularly common there due to the frequent administration of antibiotics. However, there are also other multi-resistant pathogens that threaten our health. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to quickly detect and combat resistant hospital germs.
In addition, the system can also be quickly and cost-effectively converted to other viruses or germs. Thus, switching between COVID-19 and MRSA is easily feasible. A major advantage over simple rapid tests is that the viral load can also be determined. Thus, not only is it tested whether antigens are present, but also in what quantity they are present. In addition, antibodies can be tested and thus an unrecognized and survived disease or the immune status can be visualized and quantitatively classified. In the case of, for example, COVID-19 tests, a decision can then be made as to whether further vaccination is necessary.
The Point-of-care diagnostic system is significantly more accurate than a simple rapid antigen test, while being smaller and less expensive than a large laboratory. It is a fully digital system that allows quantitative measurements and thus tracking and monitoring.
The mp6 micropump is a very important component in this liquid handling system for Point-of-care testing. To display a reliable result, the chip on which the actual antigen test takes place must be filled with both the sample and various liquids. It is essential that the liquids are accurately conveyed to enable accurate test results.
This video shows you how Point-of-care testing works, using an ELISA test as an example. You will see how the mp6 micropump takes passive microfluidic chips and converts them into active units. After the chip is filled with the sample and then a reaction is triggered by two reagents, the individual phases can be optically analyzed by a sensor. The optical analysis can then be digitally and automatically evaluated and documented.
In combination with the electronically controlled mp6 micropump, the slim, small and cost-effective system enables fast and safe filling of even the smallest and most complex structures. Tests and diagnoses can thus be performed directly at the point-of-care instead of in the laboratory – saving time and costs. This Point-of-care testing system can be used decentrally with low turnaround time and high sensitivity and specificity. It enables high-quality testing options that do not necessarily have to be performed by specialist staff.