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Nanotechnology May Provide Faster Way of Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes

Developed by researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine, a hand-held machine detects islet cell-targeting autoantibodies…. 

The new hand-held machine includes a plasmonic gold microchip which is programmed to detect islet cell-targeting autoantibodies via near-infrared fluorescence-enhanced detection. The new assay machine which is not yet FDA-approved can detect 3 autoantibodies simultaneously while multiplexing the islet antigens. The goal of the new assay is to match the sensitivity and the specificity of the currently used radioimmunoassay quicker and with more cost efficiency. Minimal training is required to conduct the test as only a finger prick is required to produce enough blood for the microchip to read the results. The device produces results within minutes instead of days.

Practice Pearls:
  • The new assay uses a plasmonic gold microchip programmed to detect islet cell-targeting autoantibodies via near-infrared fluorescence-enhanced detection.
  • Minimal training is required to conduct the test as only a finger prick is required to produce enough blood for the microchip to read.
  • This new innovative microchip technology has the potential to provide quick diagnosing of type 1 diabetes at a fraction of the cost of the currently used radioimmunoassay.

Zhang B, Kumar RB, Feldman B, et al. A plasmonic chip for biomarker discovery and diagnosis of type1diabetes. Natural Medicine. 2014 July 17.