Called Hoope, it has a retractable needle and functions as a home diagnostic tool that distributes blood into four microfluidic channels and to a lab-on-a-chip (Image Credit: Hoope)
A smart ring and a phone could help people diagnose sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia and trichomoniasis. Designed the Mexican Ernesto Rodríguez Leal, the portable device called Hoope is placed in the thumb, featuring a disposable cartridge with a retractable needle for single use. It functions as a home diagnostic tool that distributes blood into four microfluidic channels and to a lab-on-a-chip.
Paper based microfluidic device to take blood by capillary force (image Credit: Hoope)
“We put antigens (substance that triggers the production of antibodies) specifically synthesized to catch antibodies for each of the diseases, their interaction functions as a lock and key mechanism. If antibodies for any of the conditions exists, the antigens trap them and produce an electrochemical reaction,” Rodriguez Leal explained.
That reaction is captured by the ring, sending the information back to the mobile device like smartphone or tablet, providing results in less than a minute. And to make for a pain-free experience, Hoope has an anesthetic system by which an electrical pulse generates numbness, preventing pain at the time of the puncture.
The device will be manufactured in China and will be available in January 2016 through an Indiegogo campaign. It will first be marketed in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, later in Europe and the United States. The price will be around $50.
Aside from Ernesto Rodríguez Leal, PhD in mechanical engineering – other people participating in the project creation are Damel Mektepbayeva, biotechnologist from Kazakhstan; and Irina Rymshina, Russian finance expert. The team is in various countries to advertise and improve the device. Damel is working on adapting Hoope for detecting allergies, cancer, diabetes and pregnancy; Irina is in charge of the administrative area, advertising and developing the app; while Ernesto is perfecting the hardware.