Our society has developed from being an industrial society to a society of information. The creation, distribution, dissemination, use, integration, and handling of information are activities of great economic, social and political impact. Modern societies need huge amounts of information, especially scientific information, because we often need to make decisions on a range of issues with scientific roots. There is a general demand for increasingly analytical information and of information that is of a better quality (accuracy, precision, speed, cost, detection limit, sample size, etc.). Nowadays, this type of analytical information is generated in centralized laboratories which are only accessible to institutions with substantial financial resources. Do those without well-equipped analytical laboratories have limited powers in health, the environment, or industry?
The language of science is universal. Scientific knowledge has a global reach. But scientists, laboratories, and universities are of a particular place, from a given city and country. Therefore, in addition to the global dimension of science, we have a local dimension, where scientists can better express and humanize the strength (solidity or solidarity) of their scientific relationships. The term scientific solidarity or solidarity among scientists is not very common. We see it as a horizontal scientific relationship between peers that is reinforced mutually; it is an attitude rather than a strategy.
Low-cost instrumentation and microscale chemistry
Microscale chemistry has been recognized as one of the most viable forms of innovation in chemistry education. This type of chemistry saves reagents and time, eliminates the danger of fire and explosion, reduces waste, and uses low-cost laboratory materials. It is very environmentally friendly and educational, which is why it is considered green chemistry. Additionally, it can be carried out without the need for substantial technical or financial resources, which is not the usual line of academic laboratories today.
Chemical sensor analysis
Given the conceptual and technological strength of chemical sensors, we can glimpse for the first time the possibility that analytical instruments with top-line metrological features can be used by non-specialists and outside laboratories. This means that experts in health, the environment, or industry can obtain their own analytical information for decision-making. It also means that regions with few centralized analytical laboratories can meet their analytical information needs in a range of fields.
There is an urgent need for simple and rapid diagnostics appropriate for use in global health issues, promoting the development and evaluation of diagnostics that are assured:
Affordable (by those at risk of infections)
Sensitive ( few false negatives)
Specific (few false positives)
User-friendly (simple to perform: 3-4 steps, with minimal training)
Rapid and robust (rapid: to enable treatment at first visit; robust: does not require refrigerated storage)
Equipment-free (easily collected non-invasive specimens, e.g. urine, saliva)
Delivered (to end-users)
Worldwide Diagnostics Team
We are a group of scientists, mostly analytical chemists, based in the campus of Autonomous University of Barcelona, concerned with these issues. Together with host institutions, we conduct non-profit programs of higher education and R & D in the field of diagnostics for global health in areas without major technical or economic resources.
If you or your institution might be interested in our program, please contact us.