Lab-on-a-Chip Prepares for Takeoff
In yet another example of how medical technology designed for humans in space can also benefit humans on Earth, Radisens Diagnostics (Cork, Ireland) recently announced that it will be working with the European Space Agency to develop a blood testing device. According to the press release, the ESA contracted the company to add a thyroid test to their point-of-care device and wants to use the device as a way to provide astronauts with instant, laboratory-grade results for myriad health conditions.
Back on earth, the hope is that this point-of-care device would help simplify the testing process both on Earth and in space. This technology will enable a doctor to take a finger prick of blood and test patients for diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney damage, and thyroid conditions in their surgery, with instant results. The company expects that future developments of the device will also enable the diagnosis of heart attacks, early stage cancers such as prostate and ovarian, infectious diseases such as HIV, and viruses.
Related: A noninvasive system was developed to measure astronauts' metabolic rates and blood and tissue chemistry, among other parameters.