Urine-based TB detection tool demonstrated

Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corp., a diagnostics systems and technology developer, recently demonstrated the world’s first urine-based tuberculosis diagnostics tool.

The device is a revolutionary optical biosensor developed by scientists, engineers and chemists at Los Alamos National Laboratory via a cooperative research and development agreement between the two organizations.

The system, which is waveguide-based, has the ability to provide a qualitative tuberculosis diagnostics using just a few drops of human urine in a timeframe of only 15 to 20 minutes. Sputum, blood and skin tests typically take several days or weeks for results to be determined.

Biomagnetics claims the recently developed PCR-based diagnostics that take around two hours to produce results are significantly more expensive than the new urine-based diagnostic.

“Not only will the device provide a qualitative tuberculosis diagnosis in a fraction of the time of other testing protocols it will also provide these results at only a fraction of the cost,” Clayton Hardman, CEO of Biomagnetics Diagnostics, said. “While the current cost profile is already significantly lower than other tests, we are already working on a new waveguide design that will likely allow us to reduce the cost per test even further. The unit shown in this video is a desktop unit; however, the products for ultimate delivery to the market will also include a handheld device that can be operated by relatively untrained medical personnel at the point of patient care. We see nothing on the market today, or on the immediate horizon, that can compare to the capabilities of this technology. We congratulate the scientific staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory on the outstanding developmental effort they have put forth.”

Biomagnetics is known for developing technology related to hepatitis, HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and cholera detection.