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A cheap, disposable device for diagnosing disease

The development of a reusable microfluidic device for sorting and manipulating cells and other micro/nanometer-scale objects will make biomedical diagnosis of diseases cheaper and more convenient in regions where medical facilities are sparse or cost is prohibitive. Based on gentle acoustic vibrations, the device, called acoustic tweezers, is the work of researchers at Penn State. In addition to its use in diagnosing diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, both of which are endemic in resource-poor regions of the world, the device should find widespread use in hospitals, clinics, biology labs and the home due to its low cost and ease of use.

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