Integration of fluids and reagents into self-contained cartridges containing sensor elements and reagent delivery systems

Described herein is an analyte detection device and procedure related to a portable tool suitable for point-of-care analyses. In certain embodiments, a portable tool may include a disposable cartridge, an optical sensor, a sample set device and/or sample reservoir, reagent delivery systems, fluid delivery systems, a couple of channels, and/or waste reservoirs. The use of a portable tool may reduce the hazard to an operator by reducing an operator’s touch with a sample for analysis. The unit is capable of obtaining diagnostic information using cellular- and/or particle-based analyses and may be used in conjunction with membrane- and/or particle-based analysis cartridges. Analytes, including proteins and cells and/or microbes may be found using the membrane and/or particle based analysis system.

 

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BACKGROUND

 

 
1. Field of the Invention
 

 
The present invention generally relates to a method and device for the detection of analytes in a fluid. More particularly, the invention relates to a mobile apparatus for obtaining analytical information with both membrane- andparticle-based detectors.
 

 
2. Description of Related Art
 

 
Present methodology used to complete medical diagnostics, environmental monitoring, and detection of bioterrorism-related brokers frequently require large and expensive instruments and highly specialized employees found only in certain hospitals,labs or government agencies. Furthermore, these instruments are often restricted to a limited number of programs. By way of example, in the region of medical diagnostics, each instrument is quite technical and designed either to measure proteinlevels or to analyze mobile matter but, typically, may never do both. Furthermore, each system is capable of analyzing only some of those pertinent markers of a disease, therefore adding another element to an already dull and time consumingprocess which could differ from hours to days. Long delays could be produced between the time of the initial trip, diagnosis, and management of therapy, potentially having detrimental effects on the prognosis of this disease. In the same way, timelyidentification of an unknown environmental or deliberately introduced contaminant is crucial. By way of example, two of the envelopes by the 2001 anthrax attacks were processed in a facility which remained available for 9 days after the initial contamination,exposing over 60 million mail items and over 2000 employees to Bacillus anthracis spores.
 

 
It is therefore desirable that new strategies and systems capable of discriminating analytes and/or microbes be developed for health and safety, environmental, homeland defense, military, medical/clinical diagnostic, food/beverage, and chemicalprocessing programs. It is further desirable that the systems and methods facilitate rapid screening of analytes or microbes to be used as a trigger for more special and confirmatory testing. It is further desirable that detector arrays be developedthat are tailored especially to serve as efficient microbe collection media.
 

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