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Innovation & Startups

Accel Diagnostics puts medical diagnosis on a fast-acting chip


A novel diagnostic tool developed by a CMU spinoff hopes to give doctors a fast and inexpensive way to diagnose life-threatening diseases.
 
Accel Diagnostics was founded by Dr. Alberto Gandini, CEO, and Dr. James Antaki, a professor of biomedical engineering at CMU. The AlphaLab startup recently received a GAP grant from CMU to complete work on a beta version of the handheld tool, the size of a credit card, which is capable of accurately diagnosing one of several proteins in patients.
 
What makes pScreen unique is it is the only test available for these proteins that is entirely disposable, says Gandini. Known as a "lab on a chip," the tool hopes to tap into the $14 million point-of-care diagnostic market.
 
"The test is it is low in cost and easy to access anywhere, so it can be used outside the laboratory setting or in remote areas," he adds. "It can be used in a pharmacy, at home or in a doctor's office." 
 
The procedure involves a simple finger prick. The biosensor platform, a sensitive immunoassay, detects protein biomarkers to diagnose a variety of proteins which accurately assess risk of heart attack, miscarriage and osteoporosis within 15 minutes.
 
In some cases it's critical for a physician to receive an immediate result. It also allows physicians to discuss a diagnosis, react more quickly on a course of treatment or discuss subsequent medical evaluations with the patient on the spot, says Gandini.  
 
A native of Milan, Italy, Gandini came to Pittsburgh by way of Houston, where he was a  research assistant professor of physics at the University of Houston, Texas.  He is currently a research scientist at CMU where he received his MBA at Tepper School of Business and met Antaki. Saliman Mukhtar is also working with the team.
 
The FDA approval process will follow.  
 
Writer:  Deb Smit
Source: Alberto Gandini, Accel Diagnostics

Image copyright Debra Smit, Pop City
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