Gout is by far the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, characterized by elevated levels of serum urate (sUA), which crystallizes and is deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. Currently, the diagnosis is largely clinical, based on patient’s history of joint pain and related examination. The vast majority of cases of gouty arthritis are treated in primary care. Whilst the gold standard is dependent on aspiration of uric acid crystals from the affected joint, it is rarely performed due to absence of laboratory support to examine the aspirate under microscopy in most primary care clinics in Singapore. The physician will often rely on blood sampling from patient, which will then be sent to a laboratory, often remotely from the clinical setting, to determine the level of the serum uric acid to support the clinical diagnosis. This inevitably leads to delay in the diagnosis, especially for patients who develop the condition for the first time. The availability of a point of care test kit for uric acid to physicians will facilitate their decision making in managing acute gouty arthritis for their patients. UricATisa low cost paper based device for detection of uric acid level from finger-prick blood. The device works based on the activities of uricase and peroxidase enzymes which are immobilized on the paper device. The device is cost-effective, user friendly and does not require skilled personnel or any equipment to conduct test. The results are instantaneous and can easily be adopted for clinical or home testing.
The point of care testing (POCT) kit comprises of the following technologies: Design and fabrication of paper-based device Immobilization and stabilization of uricase/peroxidase and substrates on paper Optimization of enzyme activities on paper Innovation method of detection The test kit is a ‘Class B IVD Rule 4’ device (HAS, Singapore)
Potential applications of this technology include: A diagnostic kit which includes the paper-based device and all required accessories such as reagents, lancets, alcohol swab, etc. can be a product from this technology. The POCT kit can be used in the healthcare industry (hospitals, primary healthcare and diagnostic laboratory) and at home for detection and monitoring of gout and hyperuricemia.
The POCT kit is cost-effective, user-friendly and does not require skilled personnel or any battery-operated equipment/reader to conduct the test. The results are instantaneous. The POCT kit is minimally invasive and accurate thus providing distinct advantages over standard-of-care automated methods using venepuncture.