AsianScientist (June. 5, 2017) – In a study published in ACS Nano, researchers from the Xi’an Jiaotong University’s Bioinspired Engineering and Biomechanics Center (BEBC) have developed a paper-based test that heart failure patients can use to monitor their condition from the comfort of their homes.
Contrary to the condition’s name, heart failure doesn’t mean the heart has stopped pumping—it’s just not working at full strength. In the US, nearly 6 million people live with heart failure, and about one million hospitalizations occur each year are related to the condition, according to the American Heart Association. It can often be managed with medications and lifestyle changes, but its progression needs to be monitored closely.
Antigens called ST2 and BNP are good indicators of heart failure and how it’s progressing. But currently, analyzing the levels of these biomarkers requires both trained personnel and sophisticated lab equipment. The research team led BEBC’s co-founding director Professor Xu Feng wanted to devise a simple test to enable doctors and patients to carry out the same analysis at the office or at home.
The researchers developed a paper-based test that requires only a small blood sample of 10 microliters. A blue dot glows on the strip if ST2 is present in the sample, and a green dot glows if it contains BNP. The colors’ intensities increase with concentration, which indicates a person’s heart failure is likely becoming worse.
A smartphone app can analyze the readout and send the results to the patient’s doctor, who can adjust the patient’s treatment accordingly. Testing 38 serum samples from people with heart failure showed that the paper test closely matched conventional techniques.
The article can be found at: You et al. (2017) Household Fluorescent Lateral Flow Strip Platform for Sensitive and Quantitative Prognosis of Heart Failure Using Dual-Color Upconversion Nanoparticles.
Source: American Chemical Society.
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