Fulminate sepsis is a dangerous condition, usually caused by a bacterial infection. The runaway behavior of the immune system in sepsis is still poorly understood. The trick is to diagnose it early and to use antibiotics to fight it off.
These days it can take up to three days to diagnose sepsis, usually via a blood culture, which is one of the primary reasons that it is one of the main causes of death inside of hospitals. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have developed a sensor that can detect a common sepsis biomarker in a matter of minutes.
Interleukin-6, a glycoprotein, is typically released by patients suffering from sepsis, but its detection at the point of care has been difficult to achieve. The Strathclyde team developed a biosensor that uses a microelectrode to detect interleuikin-6 within a small blood sample. It takes less than three minutes for the device to provide results, allowing clinicians to take immediate action if the test shows up positive.
The microelectrodes are positioned on a substrate that has needle-like protrusions. They are able to not only detect, but to measure the concentraion of interleukin-6, which would allow for monitoring of disease progression.
Though the technology is currently adapted to look for a single molecule, there are alread eight sensors on the current device that can be used to target different biomarkers.
Study in Biosensors and Bioelectronics: Development of a needle shaped microelectrode for electrochemical detection of the sepsis biomarker interleukin-6 (IL-6) in real time…