Saturday, December 17, 2011

Prenatal screening marker pen

     This is a fascinating glimpse into what some fabulous geeks at Johns Hopkins are doing to serve not only under served populations of pregnant women in need but all pregnant women with a prenatal health screening pen.

Johns Hopkins students win 2011 Invention Award for Prenatal Screening Pen

The pen contains enough reagents to perform 400 tests that will help diagnose preeclampsia and other prenatal syndromes and diseases.  By simply marking on a piece of filter paper and then dropping a single drop of the pregnant woman's urine onto the mark and observing for a color change, a clinician can be quickly and economically alerted to protein in the woman's urine that can be a signal of preeclampsia.  (Other pens can screen for glucose in the urine, as well.)

What an inspiration these students are!?  There is so much hope for the future when you look at what these students are envisioning and making happen.  The sky's the limit! 

Their work inspires me to think about what I can do to support new mothers in their breastfeeding and neonatal parenting.  I may re-certify as an IBCLC by taking the exam this summer.

Prenatal screening pen identifies protein in urine

"In the U.S., the most common way for doctors to screen expectant mothers for preeclampsia and related complications is with a 50-cent dipstick. But in developing countries, dipsticks are too expensive for widespread use. With their marker, Monagle and his colleagues created a prenatal test that’s simple enough to be used and interpreted by anyone and costs only a third of a cent per use." Source:

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