[Video Profile] TearLab Corporation

Patients who dread traditional blood tests (and the accompanying needles) may one day have reason to rejoice. San Diego device company TearLab is developing a point-of-care diagnostic test that uses tears to identify disease-indicating protein biomarkers. Tears contain many of the same proteins as blood, but are simpler in composition. TearLab’s device is a lab-on-a-chip that both collects and analyzes tears for specific biomarkers. The company’s first product is designed to test for dry eye disease, a progressive condition that afflicts 40 million people in the U.S. About 30 to 50 percent of eye care patients complain of dry eye issues, but these symptoms can be caused by other conditions such as allergies or infections. TearLab offers a definitive diagnosis. Conventional tear tests require a significant amount of tears for analysis, but TearLab requires only 50 nanoliters. Sampling time takes less than a second, and the entire testing process, from collection to analysis, can be completed in two minutes. The company hopes to develop its TearLab platform to include diagnostic tools for other eye and non-eye diseases.

Related video: Interview with Eric Donsky, CEO of TearLab.

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