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Scientists at the University of Southampton are aiming to develop a handheld testing device to provide same day diagnosis from a patient's bedside.

In the fictional Star-Trek universe, the tricorder was used to remotely scan patients for a diagnosis. The new device could replace the current conventional diagnostic method, which is lengthy and is limited to single point measurements, due to the prohibitive costs and sample volumes required, preventing continuous monitoring of disease progression.

The research, which is led by Dr Themis Prodromakis, will develop hybrid technology using electronic components as chemical sensors on printed circuit boards (PCBs). The device can carry out diagnosis on the same day and at the point-of-care -- potentially avoiding the need to send protein samples away to laboratories for chemical assessment and diagnosis.

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