$35 electrochemical analyzer

Aaron writes, "The good folks of the George Whitesides Laboratory have been dedicated to making cheap medical tests and analytical gadgets for quite some time. Now, they've really outdone themselves with this beautiful $35 electrochemical analyzer that can do everything from glucose tests to environmental analysis."

This paper describes an inexpensive, handheld device that couples the most common forms of electrochemical analysis directly to “the cloud” using any mobile phone, for use in resource-limited settings. The device is designed to operate with a wide range of electrode formats, performs on-board mixing of samples by vibration, and transmits data over voice using audio—an approach that guarantees broad compatibility with any available mobile phone (from low-end phones to smartphones) or cellular network (second, third, and fourth generation). The electrochemical methods that we demonstrate enable quantitative, broadly applicable, and inexpensive sensing with flexibility based on a wide variety of important electroanalytical techniques (chronoamperometry, cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry, square wave voltammetry, and potentiometry), each with different uses. Four applications demonstrate the analytical performance of the device: these involve the detection of (i) glucose in the blood for personal health, (ii) trace heavy metals (lead, cadmium, and zinc) in water for in-field environmental monitoring, (iii) sodium in urine for clinical analysis, and (iv) a malarial antigen (Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2) for clinical research. The combination of these electrochemical capabilities in an affordable, handheld format that is compatible with any mobile phone or network worldwide guarantees that sophisticated diagnostic testing can be performed by users with a broad spectrum of needs, resources, and levels of technical expertise.

Universal mobile electrochemical detector designed for use in resource-limited applications [Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]