A Handheld Medical Diagnostic Device for Harsh Environments

Matthew Coleman | 18-ERD-045


Medical diagnostic capabilities for extreme environments are limited in nature to single marker type assays. A more adaptable device would better serve applications in emergency first response, the battlefield, low-resource countries facing disease outbreaks, and long-duration space flights.

We developed a handheld device for medical diagnostics in extreme environments that provides sensitive and specific detection of biomarkers with an emphasis, initially, on radiation exposure. The highly adaptable microfluidic device uses a pump-less mechanical method to move, control, order, and layer fluids in the platform to decrease complexity while enabling simultaneous cell separation and plasma generation for differential blood cell counts and biomarker assay panels. Our results provide a test bed for producing and characterizing a host of novel proteins to analyze their molecular and cellular functions.

Impact on Mission

This project addressed Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's chemical and biological countermeasure mission research challenge and the Laboratory's biosecurity mission area. Our research advances ongoing measurement science (biophotonics) and threat biology. The project leveraged Livermore's core competencies in bioscience and bioengineering, and the Laboratory's radiation exposure biomarker work provides a biological platform to demonstrate the device.

Publications, Presentations, Etc.

Bicher, S., et al. 2018. "Biologically Inspired Nanoparticles for Radiation Protection and Mitigation." Radiation Research Society, Chicago, IL, 2018. LLNL-POST-756089.

Coleman, M., et al. 2018. "Novel Models to Monitor In Vivo Effects of SPE/GCR Radiation on Hematopoietic and GI Systems." NASA Human Research Program, Galveston, TX, 2018. LLNL-POST-758284.

Evans, A. 2018. "Biomarkers for Early and Late Biodosimetry Using Lymphocytes from Relapsed and Refractory Neuroblastoma Patients Treated with 131 I-mIBG." BioDose 2018: 22nd Nuclear Medical Defense Conference, Munich, Germany, 2018. LLNL-POST-752434.

––– . 2018. "Microarray Analysis in Response to 131I-Mibg Treatment Using Lymphocytes from Relapsed and Refractory Neuroblastoma Patients: Identifying Biomarker Response to Irradiation Exposure." Radiation Research Society, Chicago, IL, 2018. LLNL-POST-749738.