Researchers in the UK have developed a "naked eye" colour test for virus and disease biomarkers that is ten times more sensitive than current gold standard methods. They have tested it on HIV and prostate cancer biomarkers, and suggest it offers a cheap and simple way of spotting early onset of these and other diseases that could be of particular benefit in poorer countries.
In a paper published online in Nature Nanotechnology on 28 October, Roberto de la Rica and Molly Stevens, from Imperial College London, write how their prototype visual sensor technology detected an HIV biomarker called p24 in blood samples.
"Our approach affords for improved sensitivity, does not require sophisticated instrumentation and it is ten times cheaper, which could allow more tests to be performed for better screening of many diseases," she adds.
Prostate Cancer, Other Diseases
De la Rica and Stevens also report how they tested their method's ability to detect low levels of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), which can be an early indicator for prostate cancer.
They say the test can be reconfigured to detect known biomarkers of other viruses and diseases.
"We have developed a test that we hope will enable previously undetectable HIV infections and indicators of cancer to be picked up, which would mean people could be treated sooner," says de la Rica, from the Department of Materials at Imperial.
Last Update : 2017-12-12 00:22:35