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Portable biochip detects multiple tropical infectious diseases

Nurdianah Md Nur | April 26, 2013
A product from a collaboration between Singapore’s A*STAR and Veredus Laboratories, the VereTrop can identify 13 major tropical diseases from a single blood sample within hours.

VereTrop biochip
The VereTrop biochip can determine if a patient is suffering from major tropical diseases within hours.

Healthcare professionals can now identify 13 major tropical diseases from a single blood sample using a lab-on-chip diagnostic kit, VereTrop.

The VereTrop biochip is a product from a collaboration between Singapore's The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Veredus Laboratories, a locally based majority-owned subsidiary of STMicroelectronics that supplies molecular diagnostic tools.

Within hours after testing, the portable biochip will be able to accurately determine from a single blood sample if the patient is suffering from any of the 13 listed major tropical infectious diseases. The list includes dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya and hand, foot and mouth disease.

The team from A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) has successfully validated VereTrop on patient samples in the external fields of Northern Thailand, at the Thai-Myanmar border.

"[The success of this technology] opens new possibilities for the accurate and rapid diagnostic of important infectious diseases that remain the main causes of illness in the tropics. Its versatility and ease of use will change the approach to diagnostics at the periphery of health care system," said Professor François H Nosten, the clinical collaborator at the Oxford Clinical Unit in Mae Sot and Director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit.

VereTrop operates on STMicroelectronics' Lab-on-Chip platform and was initiated by A*STAR's technology transfer ARM, EPTL, and Veredus in 2009.

Prior to this, Veredus has licensed diagnostic technology from A*STAR in the areas of influenza and malaria, and the two companies have worked together on several projects since 2004.


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