The device can be used in both humans and animals, was designed to detect infectious disorders such as Chagas quickly to facilitate diagnosis in isolated or low-income populations.

Chagas disease, brucellosis and hemolytic uremic syndrome, are infectious diseases that affect Argentine's most isolated populations. The lack of capacity to detect these conditions in communities far from health centers worsens the consequences of disease and complicates treatment. Only in the case of Chagas, it is estimated that the exposed population exceeds 7,000,000 people.

Faced with this problem, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation from Argentina funded the development of a prototype detection of infectious diseases that allows diagnosis in place in just fifteen minutes. The device, designed by researchers at the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), is portable and easy to handle and can be used both for diagnosis in humans and animals. It will also be inexpensive so that it can be used in hospitals or primary care with limited economic resources.

Currently, the method of detection of infectious diseases such as Chagas disease, brucellosis, hemolytic uremic syndrome, among others, is the analysis of a blood sample in a specialized center for the diagnosis obtained quickly and treatment have favorable results. Isolated communities of large cities that have no nearby hospitals or health centers with the necessary equipment, are obliged to send samples to distant health centers resulting in delays in identifying the condition.

According to Carlos Moina, doctor of chemistry and director of INTI project "is very different from taking a blood sample somewhere lost in Santiago del Estero and take it to a reference center in the province of Buenos Aires and Cordoba, making this place same determination at the time, in place. The idea is that there may be a device even in the centers of isolated primary care ". The device also allows monitoring of the disease, as in the case of babies born to mothers Chagas' during the acute stage of the disease is curable is supplied to the baby medication has many side effects. When power does not regularly monitor the status of the disease, prolonging treatment in time when it is not needed, "says Moina.

The operation of the diagnostic platform is based on the formation of the antigen-antibody complex and the generation of an electrical signal through a process of electrochemical transduction. The device has the antigens, ie, proteins specific for each disease, which were moved in magnetic nanoparticles upon contact with the serum or blood of the person or animal in question, detects the presence or absence of antibodies.

The apparatus can be controlled and powered through USB connection or line current. Soon the possibility to recharge the solar cells to be used in those populations away from the electrical network tended be tested.

This device was developed from an interdisciplinary work, through the creation of a public-private consortium consisting of the Biotechnology Research Institute (IIB-CONICET), National University of San Martín (UNSAM), INTI and three biotechnology companies, combining nanotechnology, electrochemistry, biochemistry, electronics and industrial design.

As for the detection of diseases in animals, this device allows not only to detect the disease in cattle by means of a blood sample but also through the milk. This way, you can keep better control over avoiding dairy taking a blood sample.

Currently, the prototype is in the stage of validation, by testing more than 300,000 sera and approval of regulatory agencies: the National Administration of Drugs, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) and the National Health Service and Food Quality (SENASA). After this first instance validation, INTI signed an agreement with the National Administration of Laboratories and Institutes of Health "Dr. Carlos G. Malbran" (ANLIS) so that the devices are also validated its use in certain health centers isolated communities in the big cities of our country.

Argentine development

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation financed the development of nanosensors and bionanoinsumos platform for in-situ diagnosis, also called "point-of-care" (POC) in infectious diseases through a grant of $ 13,045,155 . This project involved the creation of a public-private consortium consisting of the National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI), Biotechnology Research Institute, National University of San Martín (UNSAM), Agropharma Animal Health SA; Biochemiq S.A .; AADEE SA The value of the device will be around $ 1000 and may then occur to establish a partnership agreement between the companies participating in the consortium to produce the inputs and electronics company that handles the armed apparatus. The device for rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases in place will enable the competent authorities to act effectively against outbreaks in our country.

Infectious Diseases

Chagas disease is a disease caused by a parasite called Trypanosoma cruzi, which can live in the blood and tissues of humans, animals or the gut of some insects known as kissing bugs or bugs. The most common form of infection is through the bite of an infected insect vector with the parasite causing fever, diarrhea and fatigue. In Argentina would have exposed 7,300,000 1,600,000 300,000 infected and affected by Chagas heart of origin.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that affects animals mammals and humans and is transmitted through consumption of contaminated foods, such as milk and unpasteurized cheeses; inhalation of infectious aerosols and by contact with secretions of animals. Symptoms include stands: intermittent or irregular fever of variable duration, headache, weakness, sweating, chills, weight loss and general aching.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a disease caused by bacteria called group of Escherichia coli and affects children between 6 months and 5 years causing kidney failure, anemia and neurological disorders. In most cases, the disease manifests by eating undercooked meat carrier of the bacteria. In our country there are more than 300 cases per year.