Navigation Links
Super-sensitive tests could detect diseases earlier
Date:5/27/2012

Scientists have developed an ultra-sensitive test that should enable them to detect signs of a disease in its earliest stages, in research published today in the journal Nature Materials.

The scientists, from Imperial College London and the University of Vigo, have created a test to detect particular molecules that indicate the presence of disease, even when these are in very low concentrations. There are already tests available for some diseases that look for such biomarkers using biological sensors or 'biosensors'. However, existing biosensors become less sensitive and predictable at detecting biomarkers when they are in very low concentrations, as occurs when a disease is in its early stages.

In today's study, the researchers demonstrated that the new biosensor test can find a biomarker associated with prostate cancer, called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). However, the team say that the biosensor can be easily reconfigured to test for other diseases or viruses where the related biomarker is known.

Professor Molly Stevens, senior author of the study from the Departments of Materials and Bioengineering at Imperial College London, said:

"It is vital to detect diseases at an early stage if we want people to have the best possible outcomes - diseases are usually easier to treat at this stage, and early diagnosis can give us the chance to halt a disease before symptoms worsen. However, for many diseases, using current technology to look for early signs of disease can be like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Our new test can actually find that needle. We only looked at the biomarker for one disease in this study, but we're confident that the test can be adapted to identify many other diseases at an early stage."

The team demonstrated the effectiveness of their biosensor by testing PSA biomarker samples in solutions containing a complex mixture of blood derived serum proteins. Monitoring the levels of PSA at ultralow concentrations can be crucial in the early diagnosis of the reoccurrence of prostate cancer, but classic detection approaches are not sensitive enough to carry out this analysis with a high degree of accuracy. The new test could enable more reliable diagnosis, but more research will need to be done to further explore its potential.

In their study, the team detected PSA at 0.000000000000000001 grams per millilitre, which is at the limits of current biosensor performance. By comparison, an existing test called an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) test can detect PSA at 0.000000001 grams per millilitre, which is nine orders of magnitude more concentrated.

The biosensors used in today's study consist of nanoscopic-sized gold stars floating in a solution containing other blood derived proteins. Attached to the surface of these gold stars are antibodies, which latch onto PSA when they detect it in a sample. A secondary antibody, which has an enzyme called glucose oxidase attached to it, recognises the PSA and creates a distinctive silver crystal coating on the gold stars, which is more apparent when the PSA biomarkers are in low concentrations. This silver coating acts like a signal that PSA is present, and it can be easily detected by scientists using optical microscopes.

The next stage of the research will see the team carrying out further clinical testing to assess the efficacy of the biosensor in detecting a range of different biomarkers associated with conditions such as HIV and other infections. They will also explore ways of commercialising their product.
'/>"/>

Contact: Colin Smith
cd.smith@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-46712
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. PERSONALABS Offers Discounted Healthy Heart Online Blood Tests in February
2. In Tests, Implanted Monitor Detects Atrial Fibrillation
3. Johns Hopkins scientists develop personalized blood tests for cancer using whole genome sequencing
4. Tests to Measure Safety of Anti-Clotting Drugs of Limited Value
5. Costly tests may not help detect bladder cancer recurrence, M. D. Anderson study finds
6. Autism Consortium study in Pediatrics shows CMA finds more genetic abnormalities than current tests
7. Online, Phone Tests Assess Diabetes Risk
8. Blood test identifies people at risk for heart attack that other tests miss
9. Despite tests, high blood pressure hard to recognize in children
10. Concerns over radiation exposure may overshadow life-saving benefits of cardiac imaging tests
11. Newborn infants learn while asleep; study may lead to later disability tests
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Health and wellness is a topic that ... the event they are experiencing an illness. Migraines are a severe form of a ... with migraines would not wish the pain on their worst enemy, the feeling can ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... Care for Patients with Rare Diseases, a continuing medical education (CME) event presented ... the first of its kind—and a first for ACCORD, whose mission is to ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... KICVentures ( http://www.kicventures.com ) announced today that ... York City on Thursday, January 21, 2016. Kingsley R. Chin, the CEO ... the varsity Columbia soccer program) spoke at the event, offering professional insight based ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Susan Polk Health Insurance Company ... users can expect to see in 2016. To view the report, see below, or ... directly impact many San Luis Obispo seniors who rely on Medicare health insurance and ...
(Date:2/4/2016)... ... February 04, 2016 , ... Dr. Carol Francis and 30 ... 19-21, 2016, in Southern California . The International Hypnosis Federation 2016 Conference "It's ... speakers, including Clinical Psychologist and Hypnotherapist Dr. Carol Francis (topics and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... CENTENNIAL, Colo. , Feb. 5, 2016  As ... about health. The multitude of recommended screenings and tests ... healthy aging a priority. However, for the majority of ... of proactive health planning. For the 37.5 million American ... time like the present to make hearing health a ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016 Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD ), ... will be presenting at Source Capital Group,s 2016 Disruptive Growth ... at 2:15 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.  ... taking place at 3:15 p.m. ET. http://www.aethlonmedical.com .  ... after the conclusion of the live event. The panel discussion ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... 2016  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ... underwritten secondary offering of 11,027,558 shares of its common ... of Blackstone and Goldman Sachs.  The shares are being ... $96.45 per share. The selling stockholders will receive all ... nor any of its directors, officers or other stockholders ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: