Navigation Links
Measuring molecules with the naked eye

When someone develops liver cancer, the disease introduces a very subtle difference to their bloodstream, increasing the concentration of a particular molecule by just 10 parts per billion.

That small shift is difficult to detect without sophisticated lab equipment but perhaps not for long. A new "lab on a chip" designed by Brigham Young University professor Adam Woolley and his students reveals the presence of ultra-low concentrations of a target molecule.

As the BYU researchers report in the journal Analytical Chemistry, their experiments detected as little as a single nanogram one billionth of a gram of the target molecule from a drop of liquid. And instead of sending the sample to a lab for chemical analysis, the chip allows them to measure with such precision using their own eyes.

"The nice thing about the system that we have developed is that this could be done anywhere," Woolley said. "Somebody could put the sample in, look at it, and have the result they need."

The trick is to line a tiny pipe with receptors that catch a specific molecule and allow others to pass by. When a drop of liquid is placed on the clear chip, capillary action draws the fluid through the channel, flowing up to one centimeter per second. As more of the target molecules are snagged by the receptors, the space constricts and eventually stops the flow.

How far the sample flows is a direct indication of the concentration of the target molecule (higher concentration = shorter distance, lower concentration = longer distance).

"The accuracy gained with this system should make it competitive with more expensive and complicated immunoassay systems," said Chuck Henry, a chemist at Colorado State University who was not affiliated with the project.

Woolley and his students hope their prototype will work as a blueprint for making inexpensive diagnostic tests for a variety of diseases and genetic disorders.

"There are a lot of molecules associated with diseases where concentrations around a nanogram per milliliter or less in blood are the difference between a disease state versus a healthy state," Woolley said.

Contact: Joe Hadfield
Brigham Young University

Related medicine news :

1. Measuring glucose without needle pricks
2. Measuring the uncertainties of pandemic influenza
3. Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules
4. Naked mole-rats may hold clues to pain relief
5. Could the Naked Mole Rat Hold Secrets to Longevity?
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that ... insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment ... family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing a ... episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on PBS ... in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve in ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... CitiDent and San Francisco dentists, ... cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many as 18 million Americans are estimated to ... breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant relief to about 75 percent of people ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health ... expanded their existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, ... joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness Center at ... raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up to 10 ... to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at 7:00 p.m. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/2/2017)... , Oct. 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... 8th Day Software and Consulting, LLC , and named ... 8th Day Software, based in Tennessee , ... 8th Day expands EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care ... "In an interoperable ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... COPENHAGEN, Denmark , Oct. 2, 2017 The ... tool in the struggle to reverse the tide of prescription ... plan for regulating their medicine intake and stepping down their ... is set to launch in December 2017; the first 100,000 ... access. Learn more at ...
(Date:9/27/2017)... Israel and NEW YORK , Sept. 27, ... with mobile health and big data solutions, today announced that its MyDario ... Please check your local TV listings for when The Dr. Oz Show ... ... season this month. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: