Meaghan's Minute: Microchip Tests for Diabetes
New Microchip Detects Type 1 Diabetes
Innovation should help diagnose and treat diabetes efficiently and effectively.
By Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today
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A new microchip may one day be used to rapidly and inexpensively detect type 1 diabetes, researchers found.
The device uses gold nanoparticles to intensify a fluorescent signal to identify antibodies characteristic of type 1 disease, Brian Feldman, MD, PhD, of Stanford University, and colleagues reported inNature Medicine.
The development could be an important one, they said, given that more adults are now being diagnosed with type 1 disease, while more children are found to have type 2 disease, given an epidemic of obesity.
"Ultimately, we believe this technology could be deployed to facilitate screening for islet antigen-specific autoantibodies, identifying those who would otherwise be at risk for progression to diabetic ketoacidosis and testing of preventative interventions prior to the onset of clinical symptoms," they wrote.
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A test that can rapidly distinguish the difference between the two could prove helpful in the primary care setting, they added. Currently, the test for detecting type 1 antibodies takes several days and can only be performed in a laboratory setting. The chip, on the other hand, costs only to produce and gives results in minutes using only a finger-stick blood sample.
It is comprised of glass plates dotted with gold nanoparticles that intensify a near-infrared fluorescent signal that detects islet-cell targeting autoantibodies. Feldman and colleagues validated it in a sample of patients with and without diabetes.
The researchers plan to seek FDA approval for the device, and they hope it can ultimately be used to also discover previously unknown biomarkers of type 1 diabetes by detecting the disease early.
"Not only do we anticipate being able to diagnose diabetes more efficiently and more broadly, we will also understand diabetes better -- both the natural history and how new therapies impact the body," Feldman said in a statement.
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