Researchers have developed a new, low-cost method for testing medical and environmental samples, using plastic bags as the main material, which is an air-filled flexible packaging film commonly called bubble film.
George Whitesides of Harvard University's West Institute of Bio-Inspired Engineering and his team came up with this idea when they visited laboratories in developing countries. The local laboratories and even the basic equipment couldn't afford it.
Dionysios Christodouleas, a member of the Whitesides team, told Plastics’ sister publication “Europe Plastics”: “Scientists usually leave bubble films in the laboratory because they are used when transporting other equipment. Bubble films have many characteristics that make them Become a candidate material for liquid sample containers: There are a variety of sizes to choose from, and they are regularly divided, which can be used for parallel multi-bubble method determination. In addition, it is also a transparent and sealed container."
The team pretended to be a container with a bubble film plastic foaming bag to carry out the detection of anemia and diabetes, and for the storage of microorganisms.
The team pointed out in a paper published in July that the product uses a needle to insert the sample into the air bag and then seal it with nail polish. Sealed Air Corp., located in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, USA, developed and owns the trademark name Bubble Wrap.
Christodouleas said: "We also found that the inside of the bubble is a sterile environment, further expanding the scope of its use for biological sample transfer, as well as the use of bacterial culture and biological analysis."
Although the use of bubble wrap has its limitations, including the need to use a syringe or pipette tip and sealant, the team has high hopes for its future prospects.
Christodouleas said: "Using bubble packs to pretend to be containers for analysis and determination can significantly reduce the cost of storage containers. Under the condition of limited resources, the cost of analysis (including the cost of reagents), instrumentation, and trainees can be greatly reduced. Any decline in the number of people is an important step towards establishing an important health testing program for the local community."
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