A new diagnostic device created by a collaborative team of UA engineers and scientists may significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to diagnose tissue infections
When a patient arrives at a hospital with a serious infection, doctors have precious few minutes to make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe treatment accordingly. Doctors’ ability to act quickly and correctly not only makes a difference to the patient’s outcome, it determines whether the infection spreads to other patients in the clinic, and can even contribute to the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
Luckily for patients and doctors alike, a new diagnostic device created by collaborative team of UA engineers and scientists may significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to diagnose tissue infections. The device’s novel approach to molecular diagnostics, called DOTS qPCR, is faster, more efficient and less expensive than alternatives currently being used in clinics. The work is described online in the journal Science Advances.
“We have developed a completely different type of system than what exists out on the market,” said Dustin Harshman, a former graduate student in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, currently a scientist at Ventana Medical Systems. “We want to see physicians get diagnostic information more rapidly and prescribe better initial therapies.”
Pathogens and infectious diseases are typically detected using a technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR. The method involves rapidly heating and cooling DNA molecules from a biological sample in a process called thermal cycling. This results in the amplification of the target DNA into millions, and even billions of copies. Scientists and physicians can then use the copies to identify the type of pathogen causing the infection. The problem is that most PCR tests can take up to an hour or more, and a physician’s decision-making window is typically less than ten minutes.
“With DOTS qPCR we are able to detect amplification and identify the infection after as few as 4 thermal cycles, while other methods are working with between 18 and 30,” said Jeong-Yeol Yoon, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and a joint appointment in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. “We can get from sample to answer in as little as 3 minutes and 30 seconds.”
DOTS qPCR, invented by Yoon and his research group, stands for droplet-on-thermocouple silhouette real-time PCR. The technology relies on the measurement of subtle surface tension changes at the interface of a water droplet suspended in an oil medium. The water droplet, which contains the target DNA to be amplified, is moved along a heat gradient in the oil to begin the chain reaction. As more copies of the target DNA are produced, they move towards the oil-water interface, resulting in measurable changes in surface tension. Remarkably, the size of the droplet can be measured using a smartphone camera, providing a method to observe the course of the reaction in real time.
“What’s interesting about the way we approached this is that we’ve developed a deep understanding of what’s happening at a molecular level in our system,” said Harshman, who initially struggled to determine how to monitor the course of the reaction. “That kind of understanding gave us the ability to figure out why it was failing, and then leverage that failure as an advantage to create a completely new method.”
In addition to much faster diagnosis times, the system does not require samples to be completely free of other contaminants. This can save valuable time otherwise spent preparing samples for testing.
“The system still works with relatively dirty samples,” said Yoon. “We can use very minimal processing and still make the detection in a short time.”
Yoon emphasized that DOTS qPCR is inexpensive compared to its counterparts, which employ costly and time-intensive testing methods involving fluorescence detection, lasers and dark chambers.
“It’s easy to use, smartphone-integrated and saves money and labor using expensive equipment,” explained Yoon. “This technology has a lot of commercial potential, and we’d be happy to work with industry to bring it to market.”
The Latest on: Diagnose infections
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Diagnose infections” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Diagnose infections
- The Covid-19 Pandemicon September 27, 2023 at 11:40 pm
Formulas are being touted online as an extra safeguard against the virus, but they’re not F.D.A. approved and some experts are skeptical. By Dana G. Smith Here’s what we’re learning about ...
- Saunders County horse contracts West Nile; Health department warns of virus in humans, tooon September 26, 2023 at 12:27 pm
A HORSE IN SAUNDERS COUNTY TEST POSITIVE FOR THE WEST NILE VIRUS. THAT’S ACCORDING TO THE THREE RIVERS HEALTH DEPARTMENT. PEOPLE CAN PROTECT THEIR HORSES FROM THE VIRUS BY VACCINATING THEIR ...
- Deepest Virus Ever Detected Unearthed by Scientists in the Mariana Trenchon September 21, 2023 at 3:54 pm
The virus is believed to be the deepest of its kind ever discovered and preys on certain bacteria. The Mariana Trench, named after the nearby islands, is found in the Pacific and is the deepest ...
- Zika Virus Research Newson September 20, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Jan. 18, 2022 — In a new study of the Zika virus, scientists have discovered a key mechanism used by the virus to evade the antiviral response of the cell it is attacking. This finding ...
- What to know about Nipah virus amid outbreak in Indiaon September 20, 2023 at 9:32 am
The virus has a fatality rate between 40% and 75%, according to the CDC. India's southern state of Kerala is currently facing an outbreak of the rare, but potentially serious Nipah virus with at ...
- Nipah virus outbreak in India is under control, official says, despite 1,200 being placed on contact liston September 19, 2023 at 4:22 pm
A health official in India is reportedly vowing that an outbreak of the deadly Nipah virus (NiV) in the country’s southern Kerala state is under control despite more than 1,200 people being ...
- Nipah virus outbreak in India: What are its symptoms and treatmenton September 19, 2023 at 3:48 am
NEW DELHI, Sept 14 (Reuters) - India's southern state of Kerala shut some schools and offices this week as officials raced to halt the spread of the deadly Nipah virus, after it killed two people ...
- Another deadly Nipah virus outbreak: What are the symptoms?on September 18, 2023 at 7:48 am
Two people have died in India of the Nipah virus in recent weeks, and many more are feared to be carrying the lethal disease, which kills up to 75% of those it infects. Public officials in India ...
- India's Nipah Virus Outbreak: What Do We Know So Far?on September 15, 2023 at 6:02 pm
Authorities in India are scrambling to contain a rare outbreak of Nipah, a virus spread from animals to humans that causes deadly fever and has a high mortality rate. Here is a look at what is ...
- What To Know About The Deadly Nipah Virus As India Races To Contain Outbreakon September 15, 2023 at 7:01 am
Health officials in India have shuttered schools, offices and public transport and are testing hundreds of people in an effort to track and contain an outbreak of Nipah virus that has killed two ...
via Bing News