Monash develops quick, cheap test to detect jaundice in infants

A fast, cheap paper test that can detect jaundice in newborns is on the verge of bedside validation and commercialisation, and distribution to health practitioners across the world.

The joint-development by Monash University’s Faculty of Engineering, the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering and Monash Health, has the potential to be commercialised for point-of-care diagnosis of neonatal jaundice in both homecare and hospital settings.

Jaundice is a common condition that impacts roughly 60 per cent of newborns. A newborn’s bilirubin levels peak at about two to four days of age, commonly when they are already back home.

Monash researchers, led by Professor Wei Shen and Dr Weirui Tan from the Department of Chemical Engineering, in collaboration with clinical champions Associate Professor Dr James Doery and Dr Katrina Harris, have developed a paper test for bilirubin levels, which provides results in less than 10 minutes at a cost of about 60 cents each.

“Home treatment of jaundice is currently limited by expensive phototherapy equipment (biliblanket), nursing visits for invasive moderate blood volume testing, and delays in blood results being made available,” says Dr Harris, Medical Lead at Monash Children’s @ Home.

To read more about this research, click here.


About Monash University

Monash University is Australia’s largest university with more than 80,000 students. In the 60 years since its foundation, it has developed a reputation for world-leading high-impact research, quality teaching, and inspiring innovation.

With four campuses in Australia and a presence in Malaysia, China, India, Indonesia and Italy, it is one of the most internationalised Australian universities.

As a leading international medical research university with the largest medical faculty in Australia and integration with leading Australian teaching hospitals, we consistently rank in the top 50 universities worldwide for clinical, pre-clinical and health sciences.

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