Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fast sepsis test can save lives

Date:
December 24, 2010
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Blood poisoning can be fatal. If you suffer from sepsis, you used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for laboratory findings. A new diagnostic platform as big as a credit card will now supply the analysis after as little as an hour. This system is based on nanoparticles that are automatically guided by magnetic forces.

The magnetic nanoparticles transport the pathogen DNA into the detection chambers (on the right) on this plastic card. This is a prototype of the card for the fast sepsis test.
Credit: Fraunhofer IZI

Blood poisoning can be fatal. If you suffer from sepsis, you used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for laboratory findings. A new diagnostic platform as big as a credit card will now supply the analysis after as little as an hour. This system is based on nanoparticles that are automatically guided by magnetic forces.

Although it is the third most frequent cause of death in Germany, blood poisoning is frequently underestimated. In this country, 60,000 persons die every year from some form of sepsis, almost as many as from heart attacks. The Sepsis Nexus of Expertise states that patients arriving at the intensive care ward with blood poisoning only have a 50% chance of surviving. One of the reasons for the high mortality rate is the fact that patients are not correctly treated due to late diagnosis. The doctor and the patient used to have to wait as much as 48 hours for the laboratory analysis.

In future, a new mobile diagnostics platform will be guaranteeing fast and low-cost infection diagnostics even while the patient is being transported to the hospital. It's called MinoLab and it consists of a plastic card the size of a credit card that is inserted in an analysis unit that is smaller than a notebook. This system provides findings in less than one hour to enable the doctor to prescribe the life-saving therapy. This is based on magnetic particles that dock onto the cells to be studied in a blood sample and run through the system fully automatically with magnetic force. At the end of the process, the diagnosis is made with magnetic sensors. MinoLab is presently being developed in a project of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research by the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig, Germany in collaboration with Magna Diagnostics, a company hived off from the Fraunhofer Society. Other project partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) in Berlin as well as the companies Siemens, Dice, microfluidic Chip Shop and the Austrian Institute of Technology.

Dr. Dirk Kuhlmeier, a scientist at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, explains how all that works: "After taking a sample of blood, magnetic nanoparticles bind themselves to the target cells in the blood sample through specific catcher molecules. We then use a simple magnet to transfer the particles onto the plastic card along with the pathogens and move them through various miniaturized reaction chambers which is where the polymerase chain reaction takes place. This is a method for copying even the smallest DNA sequences of pathogens millions of times. After it is copied, the nanoparticles transport the pathogen DNA into the detection chamber where a new type of magnetoresistive biochip can identify pathogens and antibiotics resistances." Our researcher goes on: "All reactions starting from sample preparation through isolating the target molecules right down to documentation are carried out without any contact and fully automatically." This means that routine operation is made much simpler for the laboratory technician and it reduces the risk of contamination from bacteria introduced from the environment that set off false alarms. But there is another benefit, as Dr. Kuhlmeier explains: "We not only save time with the combination of magnetic nanoparticles in a new type of micro-fluid. Miniaturization means we also save expensive apparatuses."

The experts have already been successful at using magnetic nanoparticles to isolate and document the sepsis pathogens, although Kuhlmeier says, "it will be another two years or so until we are able to produce a prototype of the diagnostic platform." Platform technology is not only suited for sepsis tests. It will be able to back up doctors in hospitals and private practices answering a wide range of molecular biological issues ranging from genetic predisposition right down to cancer diagnostics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Fast sepsis test can save lives." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112231.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2010, December 24). Fast sepsis test can save lives. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112231.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Fast sepsis test can save lives." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101222112231.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Predicting Heart Transplant Rejection With a Blood Test

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Now a new approach to rejection of donor organs could change the way doctors predict transplant rejection…without expensive, invasive procedures. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Better Braces That Vibrate

Better Braces That Vibrate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) The length of time you have to keep your braces on could be cut in half thanks to a new device that speeds up the process. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Smartphone App Tracks Your Heart Rate

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new app that can track your heart rate 24/7 is available for download in your app store and its convenience could save your life. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins