Portable flash sensor simplifies disease detection

Portable flash sensor simplifies disease detection

thumbprintPortland State University physics professor Raj Solanki says his portable flash sensor can analyze a blood sample in under one minute. “It’s a pretty generic platform where we can detect almost anything,” Solanki says. No bigger than a thumb drive, it contains a chip that allows for an immediate diagnosis in a doctor’s office without waiting for lab work. Working with Flash Sensor Tech, a subsidiary of Tigard-based Virogenomics, Solanki says the project received more than $2.2 million in grants from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. He says the team plans to have a working prototype within a year. The sensor would plug into a doctor’s personal computer through the USB port, requiring just one drop of blood from the patient for immediate analysis. COO Jeff King says the sensor’s multiple functions will require one to two years of testing by the FDA, so don’t expect to see it at your next doctor appointment. Meanwhile, the project is seeking additional funding. “Our goal is to make it inexpensive and make it something anyone can use,” Solanki says.

WILLIAM E. CRAWFORD