Smart & Fast
An accurate and fast diagnosis is the key to successful therapy - even in veterinary medicine. But that is easier said than done, especially for a veterinarian in the field, because many diseases have no clear symptoms. Normally the vet takes samples and sends them to a lab. This takes a while. And then he has to come back for any necessary therapy.
Laboratory to go
Our customer came up with the innovative idea for a portable laboratory – an analysis directly on the farm. The core piece, the analyzer, should not be bigger than a small printer.
Good idea. But extremely challenging to realize since the actual analysis unit was even smaller, a kind of card in smartphone format. To utilize it was our job. And not the only one.
High-Tech in the Smallest Space
The procedure us based on a special analysis method for detection of animal infectious diseases. This is made by using a PCR, in which the genomic material is amplified. All reagents are already present on the card. The veterinarian has to do nothing but place the saliva or blood sample in the device’s reading unit. The result is read out via a chip, appearing in an app on his smartphone within a few seconds after analysis.
The analyzer combines many processes in the smallest amount of space, processes that would otherwise run separately in large machines in the laboratory in a time consuming way. Miniaturization, microfluidics, a large number of components, the appropriate control technology, interface technology, everything smooth and robust in use – that alone would have been enough of a challenge. But we were not the only ones involved the project.
Starting from obtaining a DNA sample a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is carried out, in which the genetic material or a well-defined section of the DNA molecule is artificially multiplied. A rapid increase of probe material is reached by exponential amplification. Saliva, blood and other body liquids, containing the harmful microorganism, can serve as the source of sample material.
The technical challenge lies in the development of a device for different temperature adjustment of the probe under special conditions.
In addition to BYTEC, there were other companies involved in the development: for housing, chips, apps, cartridge and mechanics. We took the reins and coordinated everyone involved. This resulted in an excellent partnership and efficient cooperation.
A great success
A platform like PCR-Analyzer, which also allows veterinarians to perform complex diagnostics in the barn or in the field, must meet the highest standards of robustness, reliability and user-friendliness. These were successfully put into practice.