They say that our fingers and hands are one of the dirtiest parts of our bodies, after all, who knows how many doorknobs, handles and buttons that you have come into contact with today, and multiply it with the thousands and millions of people who have done the same as you? Having said that, with touchscreen devices being so common, such bacteria and other nasties too, don’t mind residing on your glossy screen – and this is where researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) worked on an interesting low-cost concept that is capable of performing microscopic analyses thanks to a smartphone’s touchscreen display.
Taking into account the advantage of the capacitive touchscreen, through applying a bio-sample like blood, saliva, and even urine from a LOC cartridge to the screen, this group of researchers fully intend to see the smartphone’s screen register specific changes in its capacitance, which will be an indication of what the sample contains. This would mean the phone will be able to perform the analysis and send a report of the results almost instantaneously. Still in the proof-of-concept stage, it might just make touchscreen phones a compulsory purchase for all budding pathologists should it materialize in the real world, don’t you think so?