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Nanoscale Diagnostic Sets Sights on Alzheimer's

Using their novel bio-bar-code amplification (BCA) technology, researchers analyzing fluid from around the brain and spinal cord have detected a protein linked in recent studies to Alzheimer's disease.

Interesting application Read more about the bio-bar-code technology :

- Gold nanoparticles and bio-bar codes bring sensitive DNA detection
- Nanoparticle-Based Bio–Bar Codes for the Ultrasensitive Detection of Proteins
- Bio-Barcode Diagnostic Method Could Rival PCR

If proven successful in further clinical studies, the procedure could become the first tool for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's, and the first test to conclusively identify the disease in living patients.

Chad Mirkin and William Klein of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) for Nanopatterning and Detection Technologies at Northwestern University, and their colleagues, announce their findings the week of Jan. 31 in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Because of the extreme sensitivity of the BCA process that Mirkin's team developed, the researchers were able to detect within each fluid sample a miniscule amount of proteins called amyloid ß-derived diffusible ligands (ADDLs). The goal is to detect and validate infinitesimal amounts of the biomarkers in blood.

Research by Klein and his colleagues suggests that ADDLs first appear in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's. If the BCA process can identify the markers before symptoms develop, doctors may be able to combat the illness in its nascent form when treatments may be most effective.

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Source:National Science Foundation


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