The BBC reports about positive results in the evaluation of a nonivasive osteoporosis test, developed by Crescent Diagnostics.
This is how the technology works:
Bone is made up of two materials, the hard mineral phase and the rubbery collagen organic phase. Current Bone Mineral Density (BMD) tests only identify problems in the mineral phase caused by loss of bone mass. The BQT measures the chemical properties (microarchitecture) of a subject’s fingernails, which is a predictor of bone quality. Sulphur plays a major role in maintaining the development of the body’s proteins by forming flexible disulphide bonds between certain amino acids and is required for the strength of both nail and bone.
The microarchitecture is an excellent analogue for bone quality due to the similarity of keratin in the fingernail and type I collagen in bone, both are used for structural strength. The BQT assesses the state of trabecular bone rather than cortical bone which is responsible for structure, cortical bone is responsible for bone mass…
Crescent Diagnostic’s Bone Quality Test, BQT uses Raman spectroscopy to analyse the human fingernail and diagnose osteoporosis. This technique uses a laser beam which is shone on the fingernail for a few seconds. The reflected light provides information on the chemical structure of the bonds in the fingernail.
By analysing the wavelengths of the reflected light, information on the level and types of chemical bonds present can be obtained. This information is then used to provide the diagnosis.