The timely and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases is indispensable for directing patient management and informing larger public health decisions. For the individual patient, delays in accurate diagnosis may delay necessary treatment and consequently result in a negative outcome. From the public health standpoint, prompt awareness of disease outbreaks is critical for an effective response. In developed countries, both the medical infrastructure and the public health service departments have significant resources aligned to the detection and prevention of infectious disease. Hospitals have large laboratory facilities capable of testing thousand of patient samples per day. In addition, the density of medical facilities is high enough that access to most detection technology is almost universal. In developing countries, these resources are typically much less available. Large fractions of their populations do not have access to modern hospitals and diagnostic services and equipment, relying instead on small clinics and point-of-care diagnostics. It is in this setting that most diagnostic technologies designed and deployed in developed countries fail (Mabey et al., 2004). To be successful in this environment, major improvements in cost, portability, and ease-of-use are required. This objective has been met in some qualitative assays, where "yes" or "no" outcomes are clinically sufficient. However, quantitative results are often essential in both diagnosis and treatment of many diseases. With this requirement, current diagnostic systems are costly, complex, and too large for point-of-care applications. A new approach is required to meet this need.
May 31, 2007
Aytur, T. S. (2007). A CMOS Biosensor for Infectious Disease Detection. United States: University of California, Berkeley.