The ELISHA project is working on a personal, handheld tool that could allow ordinary people to diagnose a wide variety of illnesses, including cancer and MS. The device could present a diagnosis in as little as fifteen minutes.
Currently blood and urine are tested for disease markers using a method called ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay). Developed in the 1970s, the process takes an average of two hours to complete, is costly and can only be performed by highly trained staff.
The Leeds team are confident their new technology – which provides results in 15 minutes or less - could be developed into a small device the size of a mobile phone into which different sensor chips could be inserted, depending on the disease being tested for.
ELISHA is a European collaboration of researchers and medical partners coordinated by Dr. Pal Millner from the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds.
“We believe this to be the next generation diagnostic testing. We can now detect almost any analyte faster, cheaper and more easily than the current accepted testing methodology. “We’ve designed simple instrumentation to make the biosensors easy to use and understand,” says Dr Millner. “They’ll work in a format similar to the glucose biosensor testing kits that diabetics currently use.”
Aging Star Trek fans can't wait to get their hands on this one; we've been waiting since 1967. Dr. McCoy used something just like this - see Star Trek medical scanner demonstration video below.
(Replica of original Star Trek medical scanner prop, w/digital sound)