More than a century after the identification of organisms that cause tuberculosis (TB), this disease remains a global public health challenge. According to World Health Organization estimates, there were 8.7 million new cases in 2011 and 1.4 million deaths. Most new cases occur in developing countries that lack the facilities and trained personnel required for early detection of TB.
In a new study, published in the journal Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM), researchers in Taiwan describe a simple, color-based diagnostic approach with the potential to detect target DNA sequences found in TB-causing mycobacteria – in just a fraction of the time required for established diagnostic tests.
The standard method for TB detection in a clinical setting involves culturing the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacillus, which requires 3-6 weeks to grow on solid culture media or 9-16 days in rapid liquid culture media. A faster alternative is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. However, it is still too slow (turnaround time 2-5 hours) and requires sophisticated infrastructure and trained personnel that might be unavailable in developing countries.
In their STAM paper, Tsung-Ting Tsai and colleagues employed gold nanoparticles and microfluidic paper-based analytical devices to achieve rapid diagnosis without the need for complex and time-consuming laboratory processes. They easily detected TB mycobacterium target sequences, and the turnaround time was approximately 1 hour after the human DNA was extracted from patients.
Although the authors are still optimizing their technology, they already believe that it will result in “affordable, sensitive, specific, user-friendly, rapid and robust, equipment-free, and highly end-user-deliverable diagnostic applications”.
For more information about this research, please contact:
Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
13.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
13.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
13.12.2017 | Life Sciences