| biomarkers

An Easier—and Painfree—Way to Capture a Biomarker

"Unprecedented Sensitivity" to Detect Disease, Without a Needle

Blood draws for testing. For many people, that hurts. They’re necessary, however, to obtain biomarkers of disease. Biomarkers such as antibodies can also be found, in low abundance, in the liquid around cells. Researchers have “developed a microneedle patch that can be applied to the skin, capture a biomarker of interest and, thanks to its unprecedented sensitivity, allow clinicians to detect its presence.” These patches can save trips to the doctor as patients can apply them themselves, are inexpensive, highly sensitive, and, importantly, painfree.

The microneedle patch, discussed in Nature Biomedical Engineering, utilizes “plasmonic fluor—an ultrabright fluorescent label—to improve the limit of detection of various interstitial fluid protein biomarkers by nearly 800-fold compared with conventional fluorophores, and a magnetic backing layer to implement conventional immunoassay procedures on the patch and thus improve measurement consistency.” The patch can also be used to determine if a vaccine needs boosting. Coauthor of the study, Srikanth Singamaneni, commented, “We’ve shown that we can use the patches to understand whether a person is still producing the necessary antibodies. No blood draw necessary.”

 

Read the journal article.

Read the press release on Newswise.

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