San Antonio Researcher Helps Develop Experimental Zika Test

From Texas Public Radio
January 29, 2019

Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientist is helping develop a test for the Zika virus that has been called “a lab on a chip.”

The new technology uses fluid and tools including lasers to look at molecules on a small chip to quickly learn several things, according to Texas Biomed scientist Jean Patterson, who is contributing to the device’s development.

“One: to rule out other viruses they suspect might be involved so then you can sort of pinpoint what the person might have,” Patterson said. “Secondly, it can identify where you are in the infection so you could identify whether antivirals would be recommended and you could also determine if immunotherapy might be an appropriate course of treatment.”

The fluid, called optofluidics, is a process in which a scientist takes bodily fluids that might be infected with various viruses, puts them on a chip, then uses tools like optical waveguides and lasers to evaluate the sample.

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