Jayne Wu, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Shigetoshi Eda, associate professor of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at the UT Institute of Agriculture Center for Wildlife Health, have developed a portable device that can be used onsite to detect infectious diseases, pathogens as well as physiological conditions in people and animals.
"Time is of the essence in treating infectious diseases," said Wu. "This device has the potential to save a lot of lives by saving time in detection. It also saves a lot of money as it is cheaper to detect diseases than the system that is currently being used since we do not have to send them to a lab and have the sample be scrutinized by technicians."
The device can be used by any health care professional, anywhere. All that's needed is a droplet of blood to place on a microchip within the device. The microchip is treated with disease-specific antigens—a toxin or other foreign substance that induces an immune response in the body—and captures disease-specific antibodies in the blood. If the antigens and antibodies match, then the device tells the health care provider that the patient or animal is infected. This happens in a matter of minutes. So far the device has been used to detect tuberculosis in humans and wild animals, as well as Johne's disease in cattle.
"Johne's disease is highly prevalent in this country and is causing more than $200 million of annual losses to the U.S. dairy industry," said Eda. "Since there is no practical treatment for the disease, early diagnosis is critically important for disease control in dairy farms. This, in turn, helps farmers' business and the milk supply."
The scientists say they expect the device to be expanded to detect various diseases and physiological conditions. For instance, the researchers predict it could be useful in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease and cancer. Their recent development indicated the device could detect pathogens in food materials. The device also could be valuable for applications in disaster relief, biodefense or disease outbreaks.
Wu and Eda recently received $15,000 from the UT Research Foundation to assist in further developing their technology to improve its positioning for licensing and commercialization. The scientists say they have industry interested in taking their invention to market.
Whitney Heins | EurekAlert!
Diabetes mellitus: A risk factor for early colorectal cancer
27.05.2020 | Nationales Centrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) Heidelberg
Ultra-thin fibres designed to protect nerves after brain surgery
27.05.2020 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
In meningococci, the RNA-binding protein ProQ plays a major role. Together with RNA molecules, it regulates processes that are important for pathogenic properties of the bacteria.
Meningococci are bacteria that can cause life-threatening meningitis and sepsis. These pathogens use a small protein with a large impact: The RNA-binding...
An analysis of more than 200,000 spiral galaxies has revealed unexpected links between spin directions of galaxies, and the structure formed by these links...
Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.
Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...
In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".
Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...
Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
06.04.2020 | Event News
04.06.2020 | Life Sciences
04.06.2020 | Physics and Astronomy
04.06.2020 | Life Sciences