Point of Care (PoC) Diagnostics

Young woman testing her blood with an electronic desktop device

Point of care (PoC) diagnostics technology enables decentralized testing for infectious diseases, STDs, and more. The ability to perform rapid tests outside the clinical laboratory means PoC solutions can provide a faster time to diagnosis, an earlier start to treatment, and a faster recovery for patients.

Innovators in the PoC diagnostics field are constantly exploring new chemistry and biosensing technologies to measure a variety of biomarkers, proteins, and DNA. Today, immunoassay tests can be developed to detect individual antigens and antibodies at a very low cost so that specific diseases can be rapidly identified and treated. Meanwhile, molecular testing solutions such as PCR—the gold standard—and LAMP—an isothermal technique—provide the highest sensitivity and specificity available.

PoC diagnostics innovators are working to build technologies that can identify more than one type of disease—for example, testing for both the flu and COVID on the same device. A multipurpose PoC solution requires a companion electronic device that is not only accurate but is also easily upgradable when new disease variants emerge or testing menus expand. Analog Devices is uniquely positioned with a portfolio of both electrochemical and optical diagnostic solutions, providing a measurement engine to complement a range of biosensors and chemistries while enabling a platform that can be upgraded using software.

Zoom-in on a cotton swab containing microscopic virus particles

Ultrafast Testing vs. Future Infectious Outbreaks

The hardest part of managing any infectious outbreak is knowing who’s sick and who’s not. See how ADI is innovating testing that is accurate, reliable, accessible, and ultrafast.

Watch the video on ADI Signals+

High Sensitivity Fluorescence Detection

Optical receive techniques enable highly sensitive and specific results for in vitro diagnostics (IVD) using colorimetric and fluorescence optical receive chains. Lab-based immuno and molecular diagnostic tests such as ELISA and PCR depend on optical diagnostic technology. Now optical receive techniques have also made their way into PoC diagnostic solutions, where their superior sensitivity delivers highly specific readings.

However, optical techniques introduce new complexities, as they often require complicated electronics to compensate for electrical and physical errors. Defining the optical path and eliminating ambient light interference require careful enclosure design. Moreover, the solution must have an extremely low noise floor, so it can detect low yield fluorescence while rejecting system noise. Integrated optical front ends such as the ADPD4100 offer software programmable solutions, creating a flexible and future-proof platform that exceeds noise performance requirements.

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Gloved fingers holding a quartz cuvette with a laser shining through it

Optical Liquid Analysis in a Flash

ADPD4101 enables designers to prototype a wide array of optical liquid measurements on one platform, with the ability to deploy and switch between methods just by changing a software configuration.

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Simplifying Biosensor Electrical Detection

Biosensors are an established tool within IVD, and now their popularity is growing in the PoC market as well due to cost and miniaturization benefits. Integrated electrochemical front ends such as the AD5940 and ADuCM355 from ADI offer a software configurable solution that supports an extensive menu of electrochemical techniques and facilitates the creation of flexible, future-proof platforms.

Diagram showing an electrochemical sensor tied to ADuCM355 microcontoller
Integrated Electrochemical Solution

 

Biosensor readings can be interpreted through a variety of techniques, including voltametric (for example, square wave voltammetry), amperometry (for example, chronoamperometry), and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. Therefore, the circuitry of any new electrochemical-based receiver must enable a host of techniques so that sensor designers can evaluate the right method for their system and get lifesaving PoC diagnostics technology to market more quickly.

For example, the EmStat Pico potentiostat by ADI and PalmSens enabled QSM Diagnostics to create an electrochemical biosensor and reader that tests for a nasty bacterium responsible for some of the worst ear infections in dogs. Their device, the Otter eQ, is fast, portable, and accurate, providing the same test results as a veterinary lab right in the family veterinary clinic—and, thanks to the plug and play form factor of the EmStat Pico, Otter eQ got to market 3 years faster than if QSM had had to develop the electronics from scratch. Technologies like the Otter eQ could one day be used to test for a much wider variety of infections in dogs, cats, and even humans.

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Veterinarian examining a dog's infected ear using an ear inspection instrument

A Potentiostat in Your Pocket

ADI and PalmSens technology come together in this electrochemical biosensor that provides rapid PoC diagnostics in the veterinary clinic—and one day, in clinics for people, too.

Learn about Otter eQ

Bode plot with two curves showing capacitor effect on a liquid

EmStat Pico: An Edge in the Electrochemical Sensors Market

The EmStat Pico module allows designers to integrate standard electrochemical measurements into a product with minimal development time and effort, delivering a strong time to revenue advantage.

Discover EmStat Pico

EmStat Pico evaluation board

EmStat Pico Overview

Co-developed by PalmSens BV and ADI, the EmStat Pico module is an embedded potentiostat for electrochemical measurements, supporting techniques like cyclic voltammetry, square wave voltammetry, and impedance spectroscopy.

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Signal Chains

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