03 June 2009

Diagnosis of heart diseases by one drop of blood

Scientists at Harvard and Northwestern Boston Universities have developed a device the size of a credit card that allows you to diagnose heart disease by analyzing literally one drop of blood - a 0.2 ml sample.

The principle of operation of the device is based on the identification of protein markers characteristic of the membranes of endothelial progenitor cells, which play a key role in the formation of blood vessel tissues. In the described variant, selection occurs by the presence of CD-34 proteins in cells (characteristic of the precursors of hematopoietic cells and vascular cells), CD31 (a surface marker of neutrophils, white blood cells), CD146 (characteristic of endothelial cells), CD45 (a signaling protein involved in the regulation of growth, division, differentiation and cancer degeneration blood cells), VEGFR-2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor) and vWF (von Willebrand factor, which plays a role in the attachment of blood plates to damaged areas of blood vessels).

When a blood sample passes through the microscopic channel of the biochip, cells with the listed characteristic markers "stick" to antibodies associated with the working surface, which makes it easy to assess the concentration of progenitor cells in the patient's blood and, by their presence and the ratio of different cell types, to establish implicit vascular damage associated with cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to diagnostics, the device can be useful to scientists working in the field of growing in vitro vascular epithelium intended for transplantation. The origin of such artificial vessels is given by the same progenitor cells selected from the patient's blood samples. The new device will greatly facilitate and speed up the selection procedure and make it more efficient, allowing you to minimize the required sample volume.

Small dimensions, ease of use and autonomy make the device indispensable in conditions of limited laboratory capabilities in third world countries and areas remote from large cities.

Article by Plouffe B. et al. ”Development of microfluidics as endothelial progenitor cell capture technology for cardiovascular tissue engineering and diagnostic medicine" published in FASEB Journal

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru according to ScienceDaily: New device detects heart disease using less than one drop of blood03.06.2009

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