Existing lab-on-a-chip designs can put the power of testing in the palm of your hand, but an upcoming model may represent the cheapest and most colorful one yet. A Harvard University chemist has created a prototype "chip" technology out of paper that could help diagnose HIV, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases for just a penny each time, according to CNN.
A drop of blood on one side of the paper chip results in a colorful tree-like pattern that tells physicians or nurses whether a person has certain diseases. Water-repellent comic-book ink helps channel the blood into the tree-like pattern, as several layers of treated paper react to the blood and create the telling colors.
George Whitesides, a Harvard chemist, said that the colors can also reveal the severity of a disease rather than just saying if a person has it or not. It's not the most sophisticated lab-on-a-chip, but that's the point -- many of these could become cheap diagnostic tools for a developing world that often lacks physicians and clinics.
Read the article at Chip that diagnoses diseases for a penny