Chip launched to detect bird flu
A portable chip to detect influenza viruses,
including bird flu in humans, has been developed by Europe 's top semiconductor
The device, which functions as a mini laboratory on a chip, can screen and
identify multiple classes of pathogens and genes in a single diagnostic test
within two hours.
The small chip can differentiate human strains of the Influenza A and B
viruses, drug-resistant strains and mutated variants, including the bird flu or
The VereFlu Chip was developed by the Franco-Italian
chipmaker together with Singapore's privately held Veredus Laboratories after more than a year
of research. The application underwent extensive evaluation trials at Singapore's
National University Hospital in 2007.
This chip allows users to process and analyze patient samples -- comprising
human blood, serum or respiratory swabs -- on a single disposable
Francois Guibert, STMicro's Asia Pacific chief executive said revenue
contributions from its biomedical chip business would remain "negligible" for at
least another three to five years.
Veredus Chief Executive Rosemary Tan said the company had obtained "very
promising" sales orders from hospitals and non-hospital customers. Tan states
that a big potential market is the screening of travellers at airports and border
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