A new sensor offers a novel method of testing for diseases like Alzheimer's and therefore may speed diagnosis, according to an article published in Shiny Shiny.
Diseases cause antigens to appear in the blood. Scientists can detect a disease's presence by checking the reaction of blood molecules against antibodies. This process has traditionally been lengthy and complex due to the need for a large sample size and analysis by fluorescent probes. This new sensor makes the process much simpler.
The device has a semiconductor image sensor that can detect disease markers in a small drop of blood or urine. The scientists, from Toyohashi University of Technology and the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan, have successfully used the device to identify amyloid beta-peptide, an indicator of Alzheimer’s disease. Usually, Alzheimer’s disease is not diagnosed until symptoms occur, and by this time it is too late for intervention. Earlier detection allows for earlier initiation of treatment that could halt or slow disease progression.
In addition to being quicker than standard systems, the new device is smaller, easier to use, and inexpensive.
The device should be able to detect any disease for which blood markers have already been identified, so the device has potential to spot a multitude of disease other than Alzheimer’s, from cancer to Parkinson’s.
Scientists from Toyohashi University of Technology and the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan have developed a new way of testing for diseases like Alzheimer’s and diabetes which could lead to earlier diagnosis. It consists of a semiconductor image sensor which can detect disease markers in a tiny drop of blood or urine.