‘Lab on a Chip’ Provides Astronauts a Complete Health Checkup with a Single Drop of Blood

By: | October 8th, 2014

Astronauts on space missions face a number of health risks due to significant adverse effects of long-term weightlessness. Not only this, they also have to rely on self-diagnosis and treatment of their health issues, but not anymore…

The European Space Agency (ESA) is working on a prototype device that will be able to provide diagnoses for multiple ailments and medical conditions with just a single drop of blood.

The droplet of blood is placed on a small disc like a mini DVD. The disk is then inserted into an electronic device that spins the disc to separate the plasma and serum. The liquid plasma diffuses into testing chambers of disk for a range of tests like heart, kidney & liver function, blood sugar, cancers, diabetes and more.

ESA is developing this device in partnership with Irish company Radisens Diagnostic, which already has a version of this device that can be used on earth. This device was developed by Radisens Diagnostic to perform low cost disease diagnosis.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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