While-you-wait medical tests that screen patients for thousands of disease markers could be possible with compact-disk technology patented by Purdue University scientists.
Purdue physics professor David Nolte holds a prototype BioCD, which, if developed, could provide quick, inexpensive medical tests that screen patients for thousands of diseases. BioCDs would use a modified version of the technology already in use in standard CD players, but instead of containing digital data, their surfaces would hold molecules that could detect levels of proteins in blood samples. (Purdue News Service photo/Dave Umberger)
A team led by physicist David D. Nolte has pioneered a method of creating analog CDs that can function as inexpensive diagnostic tools for protein detection. Because the concentration of certain proteins in the bloodstream can indicate the onset of many diseases, a cheap and fast method of detecting these biological molecules would be a welcome addition to any doctors office. But with current technology, blood samples are sent to laboratories for analysis – a procedure that only screens for a few of the thousands of proteins in the blood and also is costly and time-consuming.
"This technology could revolutionize medical testing," said Nolte, who is a professor of physics in Purdues School of Science. "We have patented the concept of a bio-optical CD, which could be a sensitive and high-speed analog sensor of biomolecules. Technology based on this concept could provide hospitals with a fast, easy way to monitor patient health."
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