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Leveraging Microgravity to Improve Medical Diagnostics – One Drop at a Time

19 Jul 2020, 19:01 UTC
Leveraging Microgravity to Improve Medical Diagnostics – One Drop at a Time
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NASA Astronaut Bob Behnken works within the Light Microscopy Module facility on the Capillary Driven Microfluidics investigation from 1Drop Diagnostics, Inc. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – What if a single drop of blood were all that is needed to provide reliable medical diagnostics in any setting on—or even off—Earth? This week, NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken, who recently launched to the International Space Station (ISS) on the historic SpaceX Demo-2 mission, are working on an investigation from Boston-based biotech startup 1Drop Diagnostics to enhance a portable device that can run diagnostic tests from anywhere using just one drop of blood.

1Drop Diagnostics’ device contains specially designed microfluidic chips, and the company is doing research on the ISS to better understand fluid flow through the chips’ small channels. Results from the investigation, sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, should allow 1Drop Diagnostics to improve chip design and function. Through their space-based research, 1Drop Diagnostics seeks to advance next-generation medical diagnostics that will reduce health care costs and provide better health outcomes for patients back on Earth.

Decentralizing Diagnostics

Currently, most point-of-care diagnostics require bulky, expensive equipment in a centralized laboratory. 1Drop Diagnostics aims to ...

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