Researchers at the University of York have created a new sensor which is able to detect multiple proteins and enzymes in a small amount of blood that may drastically speed up diagnostic healthcare techniques.
Currently checks to stumble on the presence of infections or ailments require a sample of blood from the affected person, which is later analysed in a laboratory to detect markers of disease. The presence of particular proteins can provide an illustration of a health situation and the direction of treatment, however only one type of protein may be identified per sample.
If multiple exams are required, as is the case of suspected cancers or resistant infection, the results can take longer and the fees of testing increase.
Biosensors For Blood
The research team at York, however, have developed a biosensor that mixes light and electricity, to detect more than one biomarker in one smaller amount of blood. The method can make blood tests more comfy for sufferers and enable results to be processed faster.
Professor Thomas Krauss from the University of York’s Department of Physics, said, ” These sensors can give fast, real time results and at low cost. The length of time and money that it takes laboratory technicians to identify just one protein in a patient sample is a real challenge for the NHS and can result in emotional distress for patients. Not only can this new technology speed the process up, but it can test for a number of proteins and enzymes together in just one sample, increasing the chances of a successful and timely diagnosis.”
Researchers actually want to test the new method in urine samples for urinary tract infections (UTIs), which has excessive resistance to antibiotics. If the biosensor can identify biomarkers of the infection and of resistance, it’s more likely that the precise path of antibiotic remedy can be prescribed earlier, as opposed to repeat a visit that is often the case with UTIs.
Dr Steve Johnson, from the University of York’s Department of Electronics remarked, “Combining light and electricity in silicon sensors has never been done before. This exciting new technology provides in-depth analysis of biological interactions and new ways of sensing on the micro-scale.”
The emergence of stratified and personalised drugs and the tailoring of remedies to the biology of the individual have elevated the demands on diagnostic technology, mainly with healthcare challenges related to anti-microbial resistance.
PhD student, Jose Juan Colas who was one of the researchers added, “This new diagnostic technique could have many applications and really pushes us forward in how we think about developing technologies for the future. By working together across multiple disciplines we have demonstrated a unique technology with the potential to make a real difference to health science, clinical practice, and basic science.”