UPDATE : Friday, July 10, 2020
Tech developed to detect diseases with single drop of fluid
  • By Marian Chu
  • Published 2018.01.25 12:00
  • Updated 2018.01.25 11:18
  • comments 0

Korean researchers have developed a new biosensor technology that can quickly diagnose various health conditions with only a drop of body fluid, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said Thursday.

For most patients, blood tests require considerable physical effort and time investment. Existing diagnostic tests need a medical specialist to draw a significant amount of patient’s blood, causing newborns, infants or hospitalized patients to face various difficulties in completing the tests.

The team, led by Seo Jung-mok, a senior researcher at KIST’s Center for Biomaterials, and Professor Lee Tae-yoon of Yonsei University, created a functional surface wherein blood and bodily fluid cannot stick. They then used it to develop biosensor technology that can move bodily fluid – blood, tears, sweat, and urine – in droplets or in tens of microliters, which is one-millionth of a liter.

KIST’s Seo Jung-mok (left) and Yonsei University Professor Lee Tae-yoon

The technology is capable of diagnosing various diseases with less than one cc of blood or body fluids, a feat that will likely be the transition point from existing hospital-based diagnosis systems to a patient-oriented one, the researchers said.

"This study confirmed the possibility of testing the patient's health status and various diseases by using only a small amount of blood, which is only one-hundredth of the blood volume required for the conventional blood test," said Seo, KIST’s leading researcher.

The team also used the developed functional surface to create a biosensor system that can diagnose various health conditions with one droplet of body fluid.

Researchers said they were able to precisely detect the concentrations of blood glucose, uric acid, and lactose in the body with only a small sample that changed color according to concentration level. The team also successfully diagnosed diabetes with the blood sugar concentration, it said.

"We hope this will be of great help in the management of disease for people who are reluctant to take blood or have difficulty in collecting blood or who need frequent blood tests,” Seo added.

The study was carried out by the KIST Institutional Projects and Nanomaterials Technology Development Project with the support of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Ministry of Communication.

The results were published in top international nanoscience academic journal, ACS NANO.


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