Increased levels of the protein troponin in a patient’s blood is a marker for a cardiac infarction that may have recently occurred. Researchers at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering have reported in journal Plasma Processes and Polymers on the development of new test strips that use gold nanoparticles to detect troponin I (cTn-I) with high sensitivity, potentially leading to a fast and early test for heart attacks.
Unlike other gold nanoparticles, these are created using a microplasma chemical process that allows more antibodies to be stuck to the surface. The researchers were able to modulate the technique to be able to stick as high amount of them as possible, resulting in considerably greater ability to detect even low concentrations of cTn-I.
The microplasma-assisted synthesis of AuNPs has great potential for other biomedical and therapeutic applications such as tumor detection, cancer imaging, drug delivery, and treatment of degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The routine use of gold nanoparticles in therapy and disease detection in patients is still years away: longer for therapeutic applications and shorter for biosensors. The biggest hurdle to overcome is the fact that the synthesis of monodisperse, size-controlled gold nanoparticles, even using microplasmas, is still a costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive process, which limits their use currently to small-scale clinical studies, Kurt H. Becker, a professor in the Department of Applied Physics and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, explained.