Blood draws are often the first step in diagnosing all kinds of diseases, but many people, especially kids, just can’t stand the process. Moreover, taking blood samples requires having trained staff performing the procedure, often a rare commodity, especially in underdeveloped nations. A team of Australian researchers headed by Simon R. Corrie of the University of Queensland, have developed a skin patch that may be coming to a nurse near you as a friendlier option for taking blood samples for disease diagnosis.
Previously, patches that penetrate the skin and detect a unique biomarker have been developed, but they have limited use and can’t often provide a confirmed diagnosis. The new patch is able to test for two protein biomarkers at the same time, and in lab tests with malarial mice it was able to detect recombinant P. falciparum rPfHRP2 and total IgG, both biomarkers for the disease. The microneedles within the patch penetrate into the intradermal layer of the skin and have antibodies for the target biomarkers attached to them. The biomarkers naturally adhere to the antibodies, which can be detected to confirm their presence in the intradermal fluid.
The researchers in their study conclude that “such devices can be used to capture clinically relevant, circulating protein biomarkers of infectious disease via the skin, with potential applications as a minimally invasive and lab-free biomarker detection platform.”
Study in Analytical Chemistry: Capture of the Circulating Plasmodium falciparum Biomarker HRP2 in a Multiplexed Format, via a Wearable Skin Patch…