Researchers develop device that uses smartphone to detect pregnancy
Detecting pregnancy could very well be done with your smartphone in the future if we believe what is going on in Hanover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT), University of Hanover, Germany. The researchers at this university have developed a prototype sensor for smartphone that is capable of detecting first signs of pregnancy and even diabetes. The fiber optic sensor in conjunction with a compatible app is going to monitor various body fluids like blood, urine, saliva or sweat and also analyze breath.
Making use of the Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) technology, the device detects presence of certain bio-molecules and thus, it is capable of telling whether you are pregnant or not. Once the sample of blood, urine or saliva is placed in the detector, a light beam is directed on a metallic film and the index of refraction is analyzed. Certain biomolecules absorb light and this is a clear indication of the positive test result.
According to Kort Bremer, inventor and co-author of the new paper with Bernhard Roth, director, Hanover Centre for Optical Technologies (HOT), University of Hanover, Germany
We have the potential to develop small and robust lab-on-a-chip devices for smartphones. So, surface plasmon resonance sensors could become ubiquitous now.
Researchers also added that the smartphones already have the light detector and light source which are important for the proof-of-concept device developed. This sensor is designed in a U-shape and consists of 400-micrometer diameter core multitude fiber. When the reading is taken from the device, it guides the user to the nearest drug store or hospital in case the need arises.
The good this is that the current prototype is fully-functional with current breed of smartphone and that too at a fraction of the cost.