LacriPen: A Portable Lab in Your Hands


Osmolarity is the one biophysical measurement that “can reliably diagnose dry eye disease (DED) initially and follow the therapeutic response secondarily, said Chris Geddes, PhD, FRSC, LacriSciences’ chief biomedical and plasmonics consultant.

Since 2006, an osmolarity threshold of 316 mOsm has been established for DED. With a range of “only 12 mOsm/L defining the stages of DED, any instrument with a standard deviation above ± 6 mOsm/L has no validity for diagnosis and use in DED,” Dr. Geddes said.

The LacriPen is now in its third generation, and is a portable handheld osmometer that can diagnose DED. It rapidly responds and has a large, dynamic sensing range, he explained.

“The key to this device’s success is the sensor prism,” continued Dr. Geddes. “The pen self-calibrates and is highly sensitive on both optical channels.”

Clinicians “simply touch the tears with the pen and LacriPen does the rest, in less than one second,” he said. No scraping and no anesthesia are needed.

The LacriPen has shown incredible sensitivity in identifying matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) as low as 5 ng/mL.
Calling the LacriPen “a veritable laboratory for real-time patient management,” Dr. Geddes said the device may be helpful in detecting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

“It provides an immediate diagnosis, no waiting for culture, no need for MRIs,” he stated. “There would be no need for expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics. It can create potentially huge savings for patient care.”

Dr. Geddes also believes LacriPen is a platform technology that can be used to detect adenovirus (particularly in children), and “it has the potential to determine biomarkers in cancer,” he said. “LacriPen has the ability to change the way we think about and use ophthalmic devices.”

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Chris Geddes

Chris Geddes, PhD

Dr Chris D. Geddes, PhD, FRSC, Professor and Serial Entrepreneur, is internationally known in fluorescence and plasmonics publishing over 250 peer-reviewed papers, is the author of > 20 books and has secured in excess of $25M in recent years to pursue his research aspirations at the University of Maryland.

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