New technology developed at University Hospitals Case Medical Center may standardize Sickle Cell Disease screenings for infants in developing countries

Tuesday, December 08, 2015
CLEVELAND – Researchers from Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine presented new research findings this weekend at the 57th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in Orlando.  
 
In a poster presentation (Abstract #3379), Yunus Alapan, Umut Gurkan PhD and Jane Little, MD presented promising findings related to new technology aimed at facilitating early detection of sickle cell disease for infants in developing countries. Current standardized screening methods are too costly and take too much time to enable equitable and timely diagnosis to save lives in economically challenged nations. However, an innovative mobile biochip device, the HemeChip, has the unique ability to rapidly screen for sickle cell disease with just a few drops of blood.
 
“While sickle cell newborn screening is standard in the U.S., very few infants are screened in Africa because of the high cost and level of skill needed to run traditional tests,” says Dr. Little, Director of the Adult Sickle Cell Anemia Center, UH Seidman Cancer Center and Associate Professor at the School of Medicine. “This new mobile technology provides an easy to use, cost-effective tool that takes us closer to standardizing newborn screenings on mobile devices, thus simplifying diagnosis. It could make a huge difference in developing nations worldwide, enabling early treatment for this disease.”

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