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SNBNCBS develops device for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in newborns

The device is found to deliver an almost instantaneous report (about 10 seconds) to a concerned doctor, who is sitting 10000 km away from the point of care

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A team led by Professor Samir K Pal at SN Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS), Kolkata, an autonomous research Institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India have developed a device called ‘AJO-Neo’ for non-invasive screening of bilirubin level in newborns. The operation of the device is based on non-contact and non-invasive spectrometry-based techniques for measurement of neonatal bilirubin level as an alternative of total serum bilirubin (TSB) test without limitations of other available bilirubin meters.

According to the study conducted by the SNBNCBS team in NRS medical college, the newly developed device (AJO-Neo) is reliable in measuring bilirubin levels in preterm, and term neonates irrespective of gestational or postnatal age, sex, risk factors, feeding behaviour or skin colour. The device is found to deliver an almost instantaneous report (about 10 seconds) to a concerned doctor, who is sitting 10000 km away from the point of care. This is a significant achievement compared to the conventional ‘blood test’ method, which may take more than four hours to generate the report. It has to be noted that detection of neonatal blood bilirubin (hyperbilirubinemia) faster is extremely important for therapeutic management in order to avoid Kernicterus leading to neuro-psychiatry problems in neonatal subjects. AJO-Neo also shows several advantages compared to other similar imported devices in the market.

The technology has been transferred by the National Research Development Corporation (NRDC), an enterprise of DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India in the presence of Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST to a Vijayawada-based company, Zyna Medtech.

“Development of convenient, non-invasive diagnostics based on a deep understanding of physicochemical sciences is happening at a faster pace around the world, and the institutions focused on basic sciences such as S.N. Bose National Centre For Basic Sciences at Kolkata, are thus compelling partners in technology and device development,” said Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST.

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