The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved what is being heralded as the “world’s most rapid” allergy test. Beginning in 2018, you may be able to test yourself for allergies with nothing more than a single drop of blood and a few minutes.
It’s all thanks to work from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), who actually began developing this high-speed test a few years ago. In 2010, the research was taken over by an EPFL spinoff called Abionic, and today, the resulting test platform is called AbioScope.
It works by combining a drop of your blood with a reagent, then placing this solution on the AbioScope’s mounting plate. Here, your blood is given the opportunity to form molecular complexes with test capsules. Then, using an integrated fluorescent microscope laser, the system checks for what complexes are present, which in turn determines what allergies you may have. In just five minutes, you’ll be able to see initial results on the AbioScope’s screen — full results are said to emerge just three minutes later.
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