How A Lab On A Chip Can Revolutionize Disease Diagnostics

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Designing Nanostructures

Nanotechnology-based diagnosis techniques chart a path for many opportunities, including rapid diagnostic testing and treatment monitoring.

Metallic Nanoparticles

In particular, metals (especially gold and silver) prove to be extremely advantageous in the design of nanostructures as they can interact with external fields, such as light, radio frequencies, and x-rays.

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Carbon Nanotubes

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are small, electrically insulated tubes or pores, that can detect singular molecules when they pass through. They provide to be beneficial within nanosensors due to their extremely high strength (117x stronger than steel!), low mass density, nearly perfect geometrical structure, and electrical conductivity.

Silicon Nanowires

Silicon nanowires, nanoscale channels through which current is passed, have also shown great potential in the engineering of nanobiosensor devices. Silicon nanowires can be constructed from carbon nanotubes or silicon, but require high temperatures in order to be synthesized.

The Next Generation Of Healthcare Monitoring & Disease Diagnostics

Nanobiosensors

Biosensor: a device designed to detect or quantify a biochemical molecule, such as a particular DNA sequence or a particular protein.

Thousands of biochemical reactions are performed on a single, nanoscale chip.

Many biosensors use a capture probe, which selectively binds to the target molecule, which transfers the challenge of detecting a target within the solution to the challenge of detecting a minuscule change within a localized surface. The change is measured through a variety of methods, such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR), mechanical motion, or magnetic particles.

Nanofluidics

As an emerging field, nanofluidics offers unique opportunities in comparison to other microscale devices.

Applications

While one aspect of the challenge in developing these systems for in vitro diagnostics is the construction of these nanobiosensors and rapid diagnostic tests, making them more effective and innovative test approaches, another challenge is bringing them into point-of-care applications, allowing them to be applicable within everyday clinical practice.

Nanosensors For Glucose Monitoring

Despite the widespread use of insulin as diabetes treatment, the management of diabetes still comes with a large set of hurdles. In current clinical practices, patients must provide blood samples and self-monitor blood glucose in order to prevent hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. However, there might be a much faster way to consistently monitor blood glucose in a non-invasive, fast, and sensitive way through nanotechnology.

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Detection of Bacteria and Viruses

Modern detection of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses, is performed using sensitive lab techniques, such as enzyme-linked immunoassays, which detect blood antibodies, PCR testing, or other sequencing techniques. However, these techniques require several steps, from sample preparation, high costs, slow validation times, and require professionals. By taking advantage of the optical, magnetic, electrical, and catalytic properties of nanomaterials, we can offer more sensitive, specific, and cheaper diagnostic assays to detect pathogens.

Cancer Diagnostics

The incorporation of nanotechnology within cancer diagnostics can greatly improve the outcome rates of patients through the early detection of disease.

Future Perspectives

While the vast majority of these applications have been limited to early-stage research and development, they show great potential for the next generation of disease diagnostics, alongside treatment monitoring and the generation of molecular profiles in relation to certain diseases or conditions.

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16 y/o working in healthtech & women’s health | a collection of my thoughts | manasigajjalapurna.com