Monday, June 24, 2013

Catching infections before the symptions show up!

Duke University researchers have made the first important step in the development of a technology that can identify bodily infections before they manifest symptoms! From their public relations release:
Duke University biomedical engineers and genome researchers have developed a proof-of-principle approach using light to detect infections before patients show symptoms.  The approach was demonstrated in human samples, and researchers are now developing the technique for placement on a chip, which could provide fast, simple and reliable information about a patient. A diagnostic device based on this chip also could be made portable.  The researchers developed a silver-based nanoparticle that homes in on a specific molecular marker that spills into the bloodstream at the first stages of an infection. When light is aimed at the sample, the nanoparticle attached to a molecular marker will reflect a distinct optical fingerprint.
 Congrats to the research heroes at Duke!