New V-Chip Gives Results of 50 Different Tests From One Drop of Blood

Len Rosen's picture

I have my annual physical next week and as always it involves collecting vials of my blood for numerous tests - cholesterol, iron levels, calcium, blood name it. What always gets me is the amount of blood taken. I'm a regular blood donor and sometimes I swear that I give more blood during my annual physical than I do when I go to a donor clinic. Of course that's not true. It just seems that way because of all the many vials that get collected.

That's why I couldn't help notice a new device that looks like it can revolutionize this kind of testing. It is called the V-Chip. It's about the size of a business card (7.6 x 5 centimeters or 3 x 2 inches) and requires only a drop of fluid to do 50 different tests at once. V-Chip stands for volumetric bar-chart chip. It consists of two very thin pieces of glass with a series of wells sandwiched in between. The wells contain hydrogen peroxide, 50 different antibodies to specific proteins, DNA or RNA fragments, lipids and enzyme catalase, and a dye. When a single drop of blood is added and the operator slides one glass plate over the other a visual bar chart appears (see image below) which can then be read with the results from each of the columns recorded.

The V-Chip is the size of a business card and can be used to test for insulin levels, other blood proteins, cholesterol, screening for bacterial or viral infections and many other conditions using just one drop of blood.

The V-Chip is the creation of scientists at The Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston, Texas. Each chip costs about $10 US. It is fast giving you immediate results. That means a doctor can use a V-Chip right in the office and in the event of an infection or other medical issue begin treatment immediately. View the video describing the V-Chip and comparing it to conventional testing.

Now if I can only get my doctor to get one of these before I go in for my physical.