By Holly Mckee, published on 19th December 2018 

“The iCheck Fluoro is very field-friendly, allowing an immediate vitamin A determination in fresh milk.”

Dr. Henri Dirren, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute

The challenge

Low birth weight and preterm birth are significant public health concerns for rural farming women in Vietnam, who are often affected by undernutrition and associated infection. By improving consumption of micronutrient-rich meals before and during pregnancy, scientists of the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) and a research team of the National Institute of Nutrition in Hanoi are aiming to improve maternal and infant health. However, their study encountered a challenge: they needed a method to quickly and easily test breast milk samples to assess the effect of the meals on vitamin A content.

The solution

HPLC is the go-to method for testing breast milk, but is time consuming and requires a lab. Instead, Dr. Dirren and his Vietnamese colleagues used BioAnalyt’s iCheck Fluoro to measure vitamin A concentration in the participants’ breast milk. They were able to train their field team to use iCheck Fluoro, and testing could be done on site in participants’ homes.

The result

Using a field-friendly and adaptable method enabled Dr. Dirren and his colleagues to test their samples without long and laborious lab work. Their study could also be more reactive: when enrollment increased and the phlebotomists could no longer manage the milk sampling, they trained other members of their team to assist. At the end of sampling in 2015, 228 milk samples had been collected and analyzed with the mobile lab iCheck Fluoro.


Holly McKee is the Technical Director at BioAnalyt, working hand in hand with our customers to improve user experience and to empower customers to make evidence based decisions. Holly, a native of Seattle, has a diverse and rich background in scientific and cultural topics. This allows her to provide excellent support on biochemistry and IT questions, while having great experiences across dozens of countries we work with.

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