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Star Trek tricoder device could save countless lives

Star Trek tricoder style devices have been made a reality, thanks to a Scottish University team

In the Star Trek universe, the tricoder was used to scan the surrounding environment, analyse data and record information. The real-life version isn’t too far off this either.

The Multicorder could diagnose the early signs of heart attacks, stroke and the onset of certain cancers. The hope is that the simplistic device could be made accessible to people across the world, particularly in places with reduced medical facilities.

The construction of the device is based around affordable, easy to obtain materials, which means that it would be inexpensive to mass produce. It could also be operated by any smartphone or Android device.

The Daily Mail writes:

While metabolites can be measured via existing processes, such as nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry techniques, both are expensive and require bulky equipment that can be slow to produce results.

The new device is built around a form of a silicon chip that is cheap to produce and often used in imaging devices.

The chip, known as a complementary metal oxide semiconductor, is smaller than a fingernail and divided into multiple zones to detect and measure four metabolites at once from body fluid, including blood and urine.”

“We have been able to detect and measure multiple metabolites associated with myocardial infarction, or heart attack, and prostate cancer simultaneously using this device.

‘This device has potential to track progression of the disease in its early phase and is ideally suited for the subsequent prognosis” – Dr Samadhan Patil (Project developer)

It’s an exciting breakthrough and we’re keen to continue building on the technology we’ve developed so far.” added project researcher Professor David Cumming, “Handheld, inexpensive diagnostic devices capable of accurately measuring metabolites open up a wide range of applications for medicine, and with this latest development we’ve taken an important step closer to bringing such a device to market.”

Colin J McCracken

My Good Planet Director, Colin J McCracken, is a content designer, editor and writer from Ireland. Giving form and function to the My Good Planet vision, it has been his role to design and develop the platform and ethos of the project. Contact: [email protected]