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Biomedical sensors for disease detection made simple

Date:
May 19, 2015
Source:
ResearchSEA
Summary:
Researchers have made a new protein detection platform using low-cost plastic and paper substrates. Their work could help reduce the cost and improve the accuracy of infectious disease diagnosis, they say.
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KAIST's protein detection platform can be used with paper substrates.
Credit: Copyright Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

Researchers in Korea have succeeded in making a new protein detection platform using low-cost plastic and paper substrates. Their work could help reduce the cost and improve the accuracy of infectious disease diagnosis.

Healthcare researchers are increasingly focused on the early detection and prevention of illnesses. Early and accurate diagnosis is vital, especially for people in developing countries where infectious diseases are the leading cause of death. One way to achieve early detection is by developing simple biomedical sensors.

One challenge, however, is to ensure that biomedical sensors are environmentally stable, disposable and cost-effective. Current biosensors are made of glass or very expensive gold substrates that make it difficult to broaden their use and mobility in diagnostic and research areas.

Tackling the issue of expensive substrates, a research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a new protein detection platform that can be used with paper substrates. Not only is a paper substrate incredibly flexible and simple to handle, it is also 1,000 times less costly than the traditional glass substrate and 100 times less expensive than plastic substrates.

Called "initiated chemical vapour deposition" (iCVD), this process can cover surfaces without damaging substrates and can successfully immobilise proteins (such as fluorescent proteins or antibody fragments) that may indicate the presence, for example, of pathogens. Unlike previous methods, the iCVD process does not require solvents and therefore is much better at binding to different surfaces without degrading them.

So far, the KAIST team has successfully used the iCVD process not only on traditional substrates like glass, but also on flexible and low-cost alternatives such as paper and polyethylene films. The researchers hope this new technology will provide a cost-efficient platform to reduce the manufacturing costs of protein biochips. Further research will continue in 2015, they say, to improve the performance and operation of the paper-based biochip.


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ResearchSEA. "Biomedical sensors for disease detection made simple." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519104904.htm>.
ResearchSEA. (2015, May 19). Biomedical sensors for disease detection made simple. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 24, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519104904.htm
ResearchSEA. "Biomedical sensors for disease detection made simple." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150519104904.htm (accessed May 24, 2017).

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