Sunday June 24, 2018
Home Indian Diaspora Biosensor to ...

Biosensor to display the progress of Alzheimer’s disease

0
//
229
image source: convergence.ucsb.edu

New York: A team of researchers led by an Indian-American scientist has developed a portable biosensor that can display the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in a patient.

A test on the cheap and simple biosensor can measure the level of a protein called beta-amyloid, increased level of which leads to the degeneration of brain cells and causes Alzheimer’s, in the blood at tiny concentrations in just half an hour.

“We want to develop a point of care system, where a small drop of blood plasma can reveal their beta-amyloid level immediately so that a doctor can tailor a patient’s therapy immediately,” said lead author Ajeet Kaushik from the University of Florida in the US.

The protein, which is found in lower levels in the blood, makes it a useful biomarker to diagnose and monitor the disease progression.

A quick test on the biosensor can reveal a clinician to collect accurate information on the progression of the disease and see what is happening to a patient over time.

It will also show if and when the disease reaches an untreatable level, the authors reported in the study published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics.

The researchers pointed out that the affordable test can be useful in both developed countries and rural settings. Also with the right data, doctors can respond quickly to changes in a patient’s brain by reducing or increasing their dose of drugs. (IANS)

Next Story

From Radio Signals A Pill Could Tell About Gut Health And Help Doctors

Scientists developed a swallowable capsule to detect bleeding in the digestive tract.

0
MIT engineers have designed an ingestable sensor with bacteria programmed to sense environmental conditions and relay the information to an electronic circuit.
MIT engineers have designed an ingestable sensor with bacteria programmed to sense environmental conditions and relay the information to an electronic circuit. VOA

A pill could soon radio signals from inside your gut to help doctors diagnose diseases from ulcers to cancer to inflammation, according to a new study.

Scientists have developed a small, swallowable capsule that mixes synthetic biology and electronics to detect bleeding in the digestive tract.

The system can be adapted for a wide range of medical, environmental and other uses, the researchers say.

The biological part of the pill uses bacteria engineered to glow when exposed to heme, the iron-containing molecule in blood.

The electronic side includes a tiny light detector, computer, chip, battery, and a transmitter that sends data to a cell phone or computer.

“A major challenge for sensing in the GI tract is, the space available for a device is very limited,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology electrical engineer Phillip Nadeau.

Using very low-power electronics they designed, Nadeau and colleagues fit all the components into a capsule about 3 centimeters long by 1 centimeter wide.

A Microbiologist scientist
A Microbiologist scientist, Pixabay

It’s still a bit big to swallow. But Nadeau says with engineering work it can likely be made about a third that size.

The engineered bacteria are contained in chambers covered by a membrane that lets small molecules in but does not let the organisms out. The researchers say the bacteria can be engineered to die if they accidentally leak from the capsule. Or future models may just use the key enzymes, rather than whole bacteria.

In laboratory tests, the pill successfully distinguished pigs fed small amounts of blood from those not given blood. The capsule has not yet been tested on humans. The team aims to do so in the next year or two.

Since the components are all fairly cheap to manufacture, the researchers speculate that the cost would be in the range of tens to hundreds of dollars.

And they say the same platform could be used to detect markers of a range of illnesses. Or, it could be used to sense chemicals in the environment.

“It’s really exciting, and I think it’s got a lot of legs,” said Rice University bioengineer Jeff Tabor, who was not part of the research team.

But Tabor notes that the sensors may need to be much more sensitive than what was used in the pig tests. He says there may be much less blood in the guts of actual patients than what the pigs were given. Other conditions may have the same limitations.

Also read: One shot Nanoparticle Vaccine polio

“For many actual diseases, you might have far less of the molecule that you need to sense available to you,” he added. (VOA)