Technology: Throw-away kit keeps tabs on cholesterol

日期:2019-03-03 06:01:05 作者:金忐偌 阅读:

By JONATHAN BEARD Doctors in the United States will from this month be able to test people’s cholesterol levels with a small, disposable kit that uses only a couple of drops of blood, takes just 15 minutes, yet is claimed to be as accurate as laboratory tests. The ChemTrak company of Sunnyvale, Cali fornia, makes the kits. It received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the device in March and began sales at the beginning of the month. The kits cost $6.25 each and can also be used by patients at home, when prescribed by a doctor. Patients begin by pricking a finger to get one or two drops of blood, which they drip into the kit’s sample well. Beneath the well, a filter separates the blood into red cells and plasma, and deposits the plasma on a sample pad. This step takes about one minute. The patient then pulls a plastic tab which delivers 5 microlitres of plasma into the system and mixes it with a buffering solution which helps the plasma move onto chromatography strips. The lower part of the strips contains two enzymes, cholesterol oxidase and cholesterol esterase, that break the cholesterol down, and horseradish peroxidase,