Self-Powered Smart Cards for Diagnostic Screening


To develop a rapid, low-cost, self-powered, easy-to-use device to detect infectious agents in blood

Anticipated Impact: 

Less costly, easily accessible diagnostics for infectious diseases


Outcomes of this project could help transition diagnostic testing away from centralized labs to satellite labs, to the physician’s office and finally to at-home testing. The investigators intend to develop a family of rapid, low-cost, self-powered, easy-to-use devices that could reliably enable initial infectious disease diagnoses at a variety of point-of-care sites. These disposable devices will combine “smart” nanomaterial-based reagents with non-instrumented lab card formats. The research team’s objective is to develop a prototype that can detect different infectious agents from a finger-stick of whole blood using a disposable plastic lab card. A “smart” card device such as this could provide a more economical means to diagnostic services for disadvantaged populations in Washington state and across the nation.

See also:

HIV Diagnosis, Management

Grant Update

Principal Investigator:
Patrick Stayton
Grantee Organization:
University of Washington
Grant Title:
Self-Powered Smart Cards for Diagnostic Screening
Grant Cohort and Year:
2008 Innovative Research Projects to Improve Health and Health Care (01)
Grant Period:
06/08/2009 - 06/07/2012 (Completed)
Grant Amount:
Collaborating Organizations:
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
Point-of-care (POC) devices that require no instrumentation or external reagents have an intrinsic advantage in settings that are somewhat removed from hospital and centralized labs. This project brings together the University of Washington and PATH to develop a very low-cost, non-instrumented (e.g., self-powered), easy-to-use diagnostic device that could reliably perform initial infectious disease diagnoses in low technology environments. The device development has brought together "smart" nanomaterial-based reagents and detection systems from the Stayton group at UW with self-powering diagnostic systems from PATH. A prototype POC diagnostic device has been developed and validated with initial model diagnostic samples during the first two-year. The team has completed the evaluation of the device’s compatibility with different sample types and is optimizing the assay and devices to improve the performance.

Impact in Washington

Location of LSDF Grantee
Locations of Collaborations/Areas of Impact

Legislative Districts:
11, 34, 36, 37, 43, 46

Health Impacts

HIV Diagnosis, Management