In patients who suffer from certain kinds of cardiovascular conditions, an anti-clotting agent such as heparin may play an important role in treatment. The effectiveness of heparin in most circumstances depends directly on its concentration in the bloodstream. Iranian researchers from Shiraz University and Razi Kermanshah University are currently developing a precise heparin concentration measurement technique using gold nanoparticles in conjunction with an ionic fluid. Previous attempts to measure heparin concentration in blood plasmon using nanoparticles have required the testing environment to have an acidic pH, so that the nanoparticles would have positive charges.
The use of an ionic fluid in place of common filling agents, however, may allow the researchers to control the charge of the nanoparticles without affecting the acidity of the patient’s blood stream. This is potentially the most crucial aspect of the research, as the technique works at physiologically normal pH-levels. Hopefully, as this gold nanoparticle sensor is perfected, it could have many applications in clinics and hospitals as a technique for measuring heparin concentration in patients with cardiovascular disease.
From the study abstract in Analyst:
The polyanionic heparin induces the aggregation of positively charged ionic liquid stabilized AuNPs, which results in a shift in the surface plasmon band and a consequent color change of the AuNPs from red to blue. The color change was monitored using UV-vis spectrophotometry and image analysis methods. The aggregation was confirmed by transmission electron microscopic measurements. The degree of aggregation was found to be proportional to the concentration of the added heparin, allowing its quantitative detection. The change in the absorbance and color-value has been used to monitor the concentration of heparin. This optical method can quantify heparin as low as 0.010 μg mL−1 and the calibration is linear for a wide range of concentration.
Study abstract in journal Analyst: pH-independent optical sensing of heparin based on ionic liquid-capped gold nanoparticles
More from Iran’s FARS: Application of Gold Nanosensors to Measure Blood Clotting Agent…