Monday February 18, 2019

Rutgers Researchers Develop Automated Robotic Device For Faster Blood Testing

The testing used artificial arms with plastic tubes that served as blood vessels

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The findings, published in the journal Diabetologia, were based on data from nearly 2,800 children with a first-degree relative with Type-1 diabetes.
New shoe insole could treat diabetic foot ulcers. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an automated blood drawing and testing device that provides rapid results and allows health care practitioners to spend more time treating patients.

The study, published in the journal TECHNOLOGY, suggests that the device provides highly accurate results from a white blood cell test, using a blood-like fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads.

It includes an image-guided robot for drawing blood from veins, a sample-handling module and a centrifuge-based blood analyser, researchers said.

The testing used artificial arms with plastic tubes that served as blood vessels.

“This device represents the holy grail in blood testing technology,” said co-author Martin L. Yarmush from the Rutgers University-New Brunswick in New Jersey.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Integrating miniaturised robotic and microfluidic (lab-on-a-chip) systems, this technology combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional blood drawing and laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing,” Yarmush added.

According to researchers, diagnostic blood testing is the most commonly performed clinical procedure in the world, and it influences most of the medical decisions made in hospitals and laboratories.

Also Read: Apple Patent Reveals a Custom Inflatable Blood Pressure Cuff

But the success rate of manually drawing blood samples depends on clinicians’ skill and patient physiology and nearly all test results come from centralised labs that handle large numbers of samples and use labour-intensive analytical techniques, researchers added.

The device could provide rapid test results at bedsides or in ambulances, emergency rooms, clinics and doctors’ offices. (IANS)

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Researchers Identify New Mechanism to Prevent Alzheimer’s

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K

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In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory, Pixabay

Researchers have identified a novel mechanism and a potential new therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (AD), says a new study on mice.

Alzheimer’s is characterised by profound memory loss and synaptic failure. Although the exact cause of the disease remains unclear, it is well established that maintaining memory and synaptic plasticity requires protein synthesis.

The function of the synapse is to transfer electric activity (information) from one cell to another.

“Alzheimer’s is such a devastating disease and currently there is no cure or effective therapy for it,” said Tao Ma, Assistant Professor at Wake Forest School of Medicine in the US.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

“All completed clinical trials of new drugs have failed, so there is clearly a need for novel therapeutic targets for potential treatments.”

For the study, the team has shown that AD-associated activation of a signaling molecule termed eEF2K leads to inhibition of protein synthesis.

Further, they wanted to determine if suppression of eEF2K could improve protein synthesis capacity, consequently alleviating the cognitive and synaptic impairments associated with the disease.

They used a genetic approach to repress the activity of eEF2K in Alzheimer’s mouse models.

Cognitive Impairment
Alzheimer’s disease patient Isidora Tomaz, 82, sits in an armchair in her house in Lisbon, Portugal. VOA

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that genetic suppression of eEF2K prevented memory loss in those animal models and significantly improved synaptic function.

Also Read- Global Warming Could Change US Cities’ Climate by 2080- Study

“These findings are encouraging and provide a new pathway for further research,” said Ma.

The team next plans to test this approach in additional animal studies and eventually in human trials using small molecule inhibitors targeting eEF2K. (IANS)