iTube doubles up smart phone into allergens sensor
If you’ve got an allergy, there’s no two ways of twirling past the dangers of consuming the banned substance. It will get to you and get to you real bad. So, we should all thank the researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, who have developed a device called the iTube that turns a smartphone into an allergen sensor. The iTube has to be attached to your smartphone and goes on to detect food allergies with a sensitivity that can match laboratory standards. Using it isn’t all that simple or time consuming but it does get the job done effectivelty. It chemically colors the allergens in a solution and measures the concentration of the color. This is called the colorimetric assay method of allergin detection. Head after the jump for more details.
iTube has been developed by a team led by Aydogan Ozcan, associate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at UCLA. Here’s how it works, ‘ The iTube detects allergens by means of colorimetric assay. That is, it works by chemically coloring the allergens in a solution and then measuring them by the concentration of the color. To analyze food, a sample is ground up by the user and mixed with hot water and an extraction solvent in a test tube. After this is allowed to settle for a several minutes the sample is mixed with a series of chemical reagents. The prepared sample and a control tube are then placed in the device, lit by LEDs and measured optically using the phone’s camera and an app that compares the sample and control to measure allergen concentrations. The test tells whether allergens are present and quantifies this in parts per million. The test results are location and time stamped and the app uploads the data to iTube servers to create a personalized allergy database for statistical analysis.’